Apple may have released the HomePod just a few months ago, but rumors are already circulating about what's in store next for the smart speaker. The latest is that the iPhone maker could be preparing to release a cheaper version of the $350 HomePod, according to Chinese site Sina. The device would be priced at a significant discount of up to $200, and would be available through Apple's Beats audio brand. Apple might be releasing a cheaper, smaller version of its HomePod speaker. The report from Sina doesn't mention when a cheaper HomePod would go on sale, but noted that Apple is discussing the plans with one of its suppliers, a Taiwanese chip manufacturer called MediaTek.
Video: Will Apple's HomePod make it in a crowded smart speaker market? The sudden drumbeat was experienced all over the world. It had a sonorous -- but not Sonos -- tone that caused an involuntary shudder in the extremities of those who thought it Earth-shattering. Apple is going to release a cheaper, Beats-branded HomePod, said the sound signals of a rumor from Chinese site Sina. Did this mean, the worriers and Apple-loathers whined, that Apple was conceding its own HomePod had failed?
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.
A report fresh from China is claiming that Apple is working on more affordable products including a low-cost version of its HomePod smart speaker. The report is very questionable and cannot be verified as of the moment. But if what it claims is true, then Apple could be targeting a wider range of consumers by releasing affordable editions of its renowned devices. Japanese blog Mac Otakara was the first one to spot the report published by Chinese economic and business newspaper Economic Daily News. The news outlet apparently claims that it has learned through industry sources that Apple is planning to release a cheaper version of HomePod and its other product lines, namely: iPhone, iPad and Mac.
The iPhone maker is expected to release a new version of its wireless AirPods, a revamped HomePod and possibly a pair of high-quality, over-the-ear headphones, Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the situation. Each of the items could hit the shelves by 2019. For the AirPods, Apple could release two models next year: One would be a refreshed version of its current $159 (£159) model, while the other would be a slightly pricier iteration. The pricier model is expected to feature noise-cancelling technology, as well as water resistance. However, the water-resistance feature wouldn't allow users to swim while wearing AirPods; rather, it would more likely equip them to better handle rainwater and perspiration, Bloomberg said.