Apple plans to produce an updated version of the HomePod as soon as the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Friday.
As reliable as Kuo can be, little other information exists beyond speculation. But that’s part of the fun.
A lot of folks are jonesing for an Apple smart speaker that goes beyond the HomePod mini. The original HomePod, while much more expensive, earned a great reputation for sound quality before Apple killed it in 2021. So naturally, Apple fans are interested in a successor, possibly with new features.
Apple today confirmed that its new color options for HomePod mini are now available to order in a small number of markets, including the U.S., Canada and Mexico. They will roll out in more territories, including the U.K., later this month.
HomePod mini is still priced at $99 in yellow, orange, and blue. The new color options are functionally identical to the earlier white and space gray models, with no internal alterations to the device.
HomePod mini’s new color options, which were introduced during Apple’s big MacBook Pro event on October 18, will go on sale in the U.S. next week, according to a new report. Fans in Europe will have to wait a little longer.
The new color options include orange, yellow and blue. Aside from the fresh lick of paint, however, the new smart speakers are identical to the original.
HomePod shipments in the United States increased 180% year-on-year in the last quarter, eclipsing the growth of smart speaker makers Amazon and Google during the period, market intelligence firm Omdia reports.
While Apple still lags behind the other two companies on shipments, it is looking more competitive than it has at any point in the history of the HomePod so far. That’s particularly impressive when considering that this was a rough three-month period for smart speakers in the US, whose growth is stalling.
Siri’s far from the only voice assistant with a weakness when it comes to false triggers, however. The study compiled a list of over 1,000 words that can accidentally activate different A.I. assistants.
Sonic loaded its newest soundbar with high-end features, including Dolby Atmos. But the Sonos Arc is intended for more than home theater. It includes Apple AirPlay 2 so it can handle music, podcasts and radio when the TV is off.
Apple sold just 2.6 million HomePods into the retail channel worldwide in the last three months of 2020, a new report claims. While that is up from the 1.6 million units it shipped the same quarter a year earlier, it’s still a fraction of the total shipped by market leader Amazon.
“The price is still very high,” David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics, told Cult of Mac. “That closes the door to a huge swathe of potential customers.”
One of the most useful travel features from Google Assistant is ready for the iPhone.
After bringing its real-time translation feature to Assistant-enabled smart displays and speakers earlier this year, Google is finally adding to the feature to the Google Assistant app on Android and iOS today.