Although the HomePod mini played a key role in helping Apple make inroads in the smart speaker market, the company is reportedly not working on a second-generation model.
Apple launched the HomePod mini in October 2020 with a $99 price tag, which made it much more affordable than the full-size speaker.
No HomePod mini 2 in development
Apple surprised everyone by announcing the second-gen HomePod last week. The new smart speaker largely retains the same design as its predecessor, with minor improvements (and some apparent downgrades). More importantly, it carries the same $299 price tag as the original model did when Apple discontinued the HomePod in 2021.
The HomePod mini is over two years old and relatively successful, so many expect Apple to debut a newer model later this year or early in 2024. That’s reportedly not the case, though.
In his latest Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman claims Apple is not “actively working” on a HomePod mini refresh. He noted that the HomePod mini already packs all the features found in the new HomePod, including the temperature and humidity sensor that awaits activation in an upcoming software update. So, there’s no pressing need for Apple to work on a newer model. Instead, the company should focus on improving Siri and third-party app support for its smart speaker lineup.
In Cult of Mac‘s HomePod mini review, we found the sound quality of Apple’s small speaker impressive. Plus, you can pair two speakers in a stereo setup to fill an entire room with sound.
HomePod needs Siri to step up
Both of Apple’s smart speakers deliver on the sound-quality front. But they seriously lag behind their competitors in smartness, with Google Assistant and Alexa supporting many more third-party apps. Apple needs to work on making Siri smarter for the HomePod to make inroads into the smart home market. The company’s voice assistant has seen few improvements on its smart speakers in the last few years.