Apple's HomePod smart speaker is lagging behind the competition in terms of sales, so the tech giant is rumored to be working on a low-cost model. A sketchy report over the weekend claims that Apple's low-cost HomePod might actually be released under the Beats brand. Apple is said to be working on the low-cost HomePod with chip supplier MediaTek, according to the Chinese website Sina. The report also claims that the cheaper HomePod model will be sold under the Beats brand, but it didn't give out other information related to specs, pricing or a potential release date. Rumors of a low-cost HomePod started back in March when a Chinese website claimed that the new device could sell for somewhere between $150 and $200.
It's the holidays, which means everyone is overwhelmed with all the "deals" available. There are so many that, at times, you've probably wondered whether they really are good bargains. Well, we have one for you that truly is a sale worth checking out. And the best part is it's an Apple device. Apple is notoriously stingy when it comes to discounting its products.
An Apple handout photo shows the HomePod, a wireless speaker for the home designed to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs. HomePod features a large, Apple-designed woofer and a custom array of seven tweeters. HomePod will be available for $349 in white and space gray starting in December. HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s and later, running iOS 11. (Photo: Apple) On Monday, Apple finally unveiled its entry into the smart speaker market with the HomePod. And as expected, the Internet could not stop talking about it.
Could Apple be about to release the HomePod 2, a smaller version of its Siri smart speaker? That's a question we've been asking ourselves for a while now now – and while Apple's iPhone X launch event on September 12, 2018 didn't reveal what the next HomePod will look like, the HomePod 2 could finally be on the horizon. Nearly a year has passed since then, and the iPhone 11 launch saw no mention of the new Apple HomePod Mini – so, everything is pointing to a 2020 release date. The speculation is that the next version of the HomePod, the Apple HomePod 2, may be a more compact version of the original, with the name Apple HomePod Mini being rumored. According to a Bloomberg report in July 2018, Apple may have been looking to release the HomePod 2 sometime in early 2019, which would make sense based on the release date of the original HomePod – of course, it never actually materialized.
Apple is updating nearly all of its operating systems today. Alongside the newest iOS 11.3, the company has released new versions for its tvOS, WatchOS and HomePod, which is getting its first post-launch update. Unfortunately, the hotly-anticipated AirPlay 2 is nowhere to be found. For tvOS 11.3, users can add rating-based content filtering and frame rate matching for Apple TV 4, which was previously only available on the 4K model. AirPlay 2 was also present in the beta version of 11.3 but removed before release, and sadly, the same is true for the new HomePod, which won't be getting the multi-room audio feature.