May 23, 2022 9:43:59 am
The original HomePod was launched way back in 2018 and was discontinued in March last year. Although the HomePod wasn’t an instant success, its discontinuation left many wondering if and all Apple would be interested in bringing its successor to the market. Now, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a tweet that the Cupertino giant will release a new version of its smart speaker during the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year.
It’s unclear if the new model will be an improved version of the original HomePod or a successor to the HomePod mini. According to Kuo, the new model will be larger than the HomePod mini but Apple will cut corners to keep the price under $300. The new smart speaker will likely sit somewhere between the original HomePod and HomePod mini. Kuo says he does not expect much of a change in hardware design, meaning Apple will likely stick to the design that is familiar to most people.
But this is not the model that would be a combo between Apple TV, the smart speaker, and a FaceTime device, as reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The model, which Kuo mentioned in the tweet, could be a different smart speaker in the works.
The HomePod was a fascinating smart speaker but it didn’t sell as per Apple’s expectations. The HomePod has seen a slow and painful death. It was announced at WWDC in 2017 with a $350 price tag and a promise of reinventing home music.” However, just a year later, it cut the price of the device by $50 to $299. Eventually, Apple released the HomePod mini in late 2020 priced at $99 to compete with the smaller and more affordable smart speakers by Amazon and Google.
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A larger sentiment among the tech community is Apple’s unclear patch to dominate the smart home segment, which is controlled by Amazon. Even Kuo admits that Apple has yet to figure out a way where it can be successful in this competitive smart home market. Apple needs to launch a new HomePod on the market but will it be another model that focuses on premium sound. Or Apple should take a page out of Sono’s playbook and launch a speaker similar to Roam. The latter speaker is a portable, wireless speaker with a smaller, lighter, more ruggedized and waterproof design.
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