Nearly four years after it was first announced, Apple is discontinuing its original HomePod smart speaker. The company said it wants to concentrate on the $99 HomePod Mini.
As TechCrunch noted, Apple took almost five years in building this device. It even built the largest anechoic chamber for commercial use in the US to test the device’s audio capability.
When it launched, the audiophile community also noted that Apple’s speakers stand tall against proven devices in the hi-fi audio segment. That’s no mean feat. Despite good reviews and impressive audio quality, the $350 HomePod never really took off.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple didn’t elaborate why it’s shelving the HomePod, but it hinted that the HomePod Mini’s amazing sales number could be the reason:
HomePod mini has been a hit since its debut last fall, offering customers amazing sound, an intelligent assistant, and smart home control all for just $99. We are focusing our efforts on HomePod mini. We are discontinuing the original HomePod, it will continue to be available while supplies last through the Apple Online Store, Apple Retail Stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers. Apple will provide HomePod customers with software updates and service and support through Apple Care.
While there was no doubt about HomePod’s great audio prowess, its $350 tag at the launch made many people choose smart speakers from Google, Amazon, or Sonos. When the company slashed the price to $299 in 2019, it was a bit too late.
The Cupertino-based company’s idea might have been to lure you into buying multiple HomePods and use them as a home theatre system, but the idea never really hit home.
Last year, while Apple announced the HomePod Mini, it smartly priced it $99 — the same price as the new Google Audio and the spherical Amazon Echo. That helped the company drive better sales than the original HomePod.
Apple will continue selling the original HomePod till it’s in stock and will provide software and service support. So if you want one as a collectible, now is your chance.
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