Apple is reportedly coming out with a cheaper version of its $349 HomePod, Business Insider reports. The company is following in the footsteps of Google and Amazon, both of which released'discount' versions of their own smart speakers, making the technology more accessible to a wider audience. The cheaper HomePod would cost somewhere between $150 and $200, and it would be smaller. The new report says it could be available as soon as this fall. Apple might be releasing a cheaper, smaller version of its HomePod speaker.
Following a series of leaks, there wasn't too much mystery about whether Apple would reveal a smaller version of its HomePod smart speaker at today's event. It did just that when it announced the HomePod mini. It has a spherical design and runs on Apple's S5 processor, the same chip that powers Apple Watch SE and Watch Series 5. At 3.3 inches, the HomePod mini is less than half as tall as the HomePod. Apple brought the "same acoustic principles" it used in the HomePod over to this speaker.
Apple finally joined the smart speaker competition in February with the launch of its $349 HomePod. The device was anxiously anticipated. Reports that Apple had been working on a "Siri speaker" had circulated for more than a year, but the device missed its targeted December 2017 debut. Now, the HomePod seems to be missing the mark with consumers. According to recent reports, HomePod sales haven't hit Apple's expectations, and the company is considering options including a lower priced model.
On Tuesday, Oct. 13 Apple announced the latest version of the HomePod. Say hello to the HomePod mini -- in white or Space Gray -- for $99. Pitching the HomePod mini as a smart speaker that puts "your privacy and security at the forefront," Apple is clearly attempting to differentiate itself from smart home competitors like Facebook and Amazon. "With HomePod mini, only after'Hey Siri' is recognized locally on the device, or the user activates Siri by touch, will any information be sent to Apple servers," reads an accompanying blog post. "Requests are not associated with the user's Apple ID, and personal information is not sold to advertisers or other organizations. HomePod mini works with iPhone to complete requests for messages and notes on device without revealing that information to Apple."