Apple employees can buy HomePod at half price for limited time

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple employees are getting a late Christmas gift from the tech giant in the form of a 50 percent discount on the new HomePod speaker, which hits store shelves at $349 next week.




According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple workers can take advantage of the hefty price cut for a period of two months.

Apple previously extended deep product discounts to employees when Apple Watch first launched in 2015. At the time, the Calif., company offered an identical 50 percent savings on Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport models, and $500 off the solid gold Edition series.

Beyond the two month timeframe reported by Gurman, details of the HomePod discount are not yet known. However, Apple will likely follow a plan similar to the Apple Watch incentive, which offered discounts at preorder.

HomePod went up for sale last Friday ahead of a scheduled launch date of Feb. 9. The at-home speaker features high-end audio components including multi-tweeter and microphone arrays, as well as advanced algorithms designed to deliver room-filling sound.

Like other smart speakers currently for sale by Amazon and Google, HomePod supports a virtual assistant in Apple's Siri alongside compatibility with connected home accessories via HomeKit.

Most recently, Apple this week confirmed audio support for its diminutive speaker, noting compatibility with first-party services like Apple Music, Beats 1, iTunes purchases and Match tracks, and podcasts.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 76
    Pre-orders low. “It’s a hobby” 😂
    I’m looking forward to getting mine. I don’t want to run the AppleTV just to listen to music and I don’t have a speaker system anyway.
    fafotbshankwatto_cobrazroger73mavemufc
  • Reply 2 of 76
    If it was that price all the time the audio performance would devastate competitor smart speakers and be an instant hit. as it is I reckon it is priced out of most of the market.
    philboogieuktechiewilliamlondonmavemufc
  • Reply 3 of 76
    I pre-ordered. Used to 1 week delivery on iPhones, I was ready for picking it up at the Apple Store today. 

    This morning I realized it would be next Friday.

    I'm sad. Can't wait another week.
    randominternetpersonbshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 76
    SendMcjakSendMcjak Posts: 53unconfirmed, member
    Selling like hot-cakes!
    fafotwatto_cobrazroger73
  • Reply 5 of 76
    leighrleighr Posts: 161member
    Cost is a relative thing. Perhaps Apple would have been better to introduce HomePod at $175 in order to firstly gain market share, and then move up to premium HomePodPro models. They couldn’t drop the quality though, people expect poor quality from Google and Samsung, even Amazon, but poor quality from Apple would not be tolerated, so it would have to be the same model, but at a price that doesn’t really make them money - which a lot of companies do to gain traction. That said, $349 is not a lot for an excellent speaker system, which HomePod is. Well advanced technically from the competing tinny speakers, and cheaper that Google’s premium speaker, it’s main issue is that people compare it to the little tinnies because of its similar look and size. Looking forward to receiving mine next week!
    bshankwatto_cobrawilliamlondonbenjwribb-15
  • Reply 6 of 76
    eBay, here we come.
    SpamSandwichzroger73
  • Reply 7 of 76
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,023member
    leighr said:
    Cost is a relative thing. Perhaps Apple would have been better to introduce HomePod at $175 in order to firstly gain market share, and then move up to premium HomePodPro models. They couldn’t drop the quality though, people expect poor quality from Google and Samsung, even Amazon, but poor quality from Apple would not be tolerated, so it would have to be the same model, but at a price that doesn’t really make them money - which a lot of companies do to gain traction. That said, $349 is not a lot for an excellent speaker system, which HomePod is. Well advanced technically from the competing tinny speakers, and cheaper that Google’s premium speaker, it’s main issue is that people compare it to the little tinnies because of its similar look and size. Looking forward to receiving mine next week!
    That's not Apple's typical strategy, and it's working great for them. Back when they very little mindshare, value, or resources that advice would've been easier for them to handle, but now they have all the resources to put into a long-term investment of a new product category. They can release it as a premium product that still undercuts the market, and then once its praises are sung and features are added down the road they can expand into less expensive tiers. Major examples of this are the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, and iPad.
    edited February 3 philboogiewatto_cobraStoneJackStrangeDayspscooter63
  • Reply 8 of 76
    larryalarrya Posts: 484member
    leighr said:
    Cost is a relative thing. Perhaps Apple would have been better to introduce HomePod at $175 in order to firstly gain market share, and then move up to premium HomePodPro models. They couldn’t drop the quality though, people expect poor quality from Google and Samsung, even Amazon, but poor quality from Apple would not be tolerated, so it would have to be the same model, but at a price that doesn’t really make them money - which a lot of companies do to gain traction. That said, $349 is not a lot for an excellent speaker system, which HomePod is. Well advanced technically from the competing tinny speakers, and cheaper that Google’s premium speaker, it’s main issue is that people compare it to the little tinnies because of its similar look and size. Looking forward to receiving mine next week!
    You’ve never heard it. You have no idea how it compares. The amount of faith you demonstrate is remarkable. I truly hope you are as happy with it as you anticipate. 
    williamlondonzoetmb
  • Reply 9 of 76
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,387member
    50% off? Why not give it away for free, like they did with the introduction of the iPhone?

  • Reply 10 of 76
    felix01felix01 Posts: 182member
    leighr said:
    Cost is a relative thing. Perhaps Apple would have been better to introduce HomePod at $175 in order to firstly gain market share, and then move up to premium HomePodPro models. <snip>
    Most quality MBA programs have a case study or two on just this question and you are 100% bassackwards. The time-proven strategy is to skim off the premium market first while recovering R&D costs and then gradually step down the price as production ramps up and assembly experience lowers production costs. Sequentially skim off every segment of the market, high to low.

    One of the earliest practitioners of this strategy in the electronics business was Polaroid Corporation (consumer-friendly instant cameras). 
    williamlondonwatto_cobraStoneJackStrangeDayspscooter63lolliverjony0
  • Reply 11 of 76
    I struggle to believe that the HomePod will really offer “high quality audio”. I accept it should be better than an Amazon dot or even an echo thanks to its slightly bigger speaker but I can’t believe it will offer the kind of HiFi quality audio that you can expect from even a $100 mini HiFi with TWO speakers each featuring a tweeter and a woofer. 

    You can’t get decent stereo from a single device like that and the eye watering price for two makes me wonder who would do this when it’s so easy to have TWO standard high quality speakers connected to an amplifier with speaker cable. Some people in small apartments may struggle to find the space but anybody with a little space and a desire for high quality audio would surely find the space or wall mount the speakers? 

    I can understand many people want always-on Siri in the home but that offers no attraction for me. Siri is great but our family already has Siri on various iPhones and Apple Watches and the high cost of HomePod seems hard to justify compared to other options. 

    I’m sure the HomePod will sound OK. I tried a Google Home for a little while and the audio was “OK” but really not comparable even to a cheap HiFi system that costs less than a Google Home let alone an Home Pod. 

    Real audiophiles will stick with their high end amps and quality speakers. Don’t pretend this can in any way be comparable. 
    rotateleftbyte
  • Reply 12 of 76
    leighrleighr Posts: 161member
    You’ve never heard it. You have no idea how it compares. The amount of faith you demonstrate is remarkable. I truly hope you are as happy with it as you anticipate. 
    - true, but those in the know who have have heard demos have noted that the audio quality is excellent. I’m sure I’ll be happy
    felix01 said:
    Most quality MBA programs have a case study or two on just this question and you are 100% bassackwards. The time-proven strategy is to skim off the premium market first while recovering R&D costs and then gradually step down the price as production ramps up and assembly experience lowers production costs. Sequentially skim off every segment of the market, high to low.


    One of the earliest practitioners of this strategy in the electronics business was Polaroid Corporation (consumer-friendly instant cameras). 
    I agree. And coming in at low-level is not Apple’s usual strategy, as Soli mentioned. I was just putting forward the argument which those who don’t understand both the technology involved and Apple’s “insanely great” product strategy. They’re not about making second best just to compete on price. I actually think that the price, $499 in Australia, is not too bad considering what you get. And I think that Apple has gone with the right strategy by saying, yes there’s lots of other sub-par speakers that you could buy, but we don’t do subpar, we do the best, and that’s why there’s no $49 speaker from us.
    edited February 3 SoliStrangeDaysrandominternetperson
  • Reply 13 of 76
    LatkoLatko Posts: 82member
    felix01 said:
    leighr said:
    Cost is a relative thing. Perhaps Apple would have been better to introduce HomePod at $175 in order to firstly gain market share, and then move up to premium HomePodPro models. <snip>
    Most quality MBA programs have a case study or two on just this question and you are 100% bassackwards. The time-proven strategy is to skim off the premium market first while recovering R&D costs and then gradually step down the price as production ramps up and assembly experience lowers production costs. Sequentially skim off every segment of the market, high to low.

    One of the earliest practitioners of this strategy in the electronics business was Polaroid Corporation (consumer-friendly instant cameras). 
    Amazon Echo and Google Home seem to understand that (apart from their Troyan horse effect)
  • Reply 14 of 76
    Mmm...

    IDK the current state of audio amplifiers, speakers, etc.

    In 1950 our family (I was 10 years old) moved from Minneapolis to Pasadena -- my dad and uncle created a company that made HiFi radios. They sounded pretty good!

    I especially remember  a (circa 1951 or 1952) maple, wall-mounted model that looked like  a knick-knack shelf (about 3' wide, 3' high and 1' deep).  It had some feature they called bass-crossover, and it filled the room with sound.

    Sadly, the company failed and my dad had to get a regular job.  

    But, audio was in his blood -- and he kept making hifi, then stereo systems as a hobby.  He would cobble together inexpensive instruments and parts from the war surplus store... He even built a table saw from an old motor so he could build speaker/amplifier/turntable cabinets.

    Long story -- even longer...

    I can remember him testing his radios using a Cathode Ray Ocilloscope -- I couldn't hear it, my dad couldn't hear it -- but my mom, in another room complained (and neighbor's dogs barked).

    He would experiment, build a system -- then sell it for a profit... rinse and repeat.

    Later, when I was out on my own, I'd stop by the Pasadena homestead and he would proudly show off his latest creation... new amplifier, crate-size folded-horn speakers, whatever.

    The crowing glory, tho, was a system he built that made the made the bay window on the opposite side of the living room vibrate...  he could make a wooden Japanese candy dish  jump off their marble coffee table.

    I guess you could say that sound is meant to be felt as well as heard!

    SpamSandwichmmatzpscooter63dws-2
  • Reply 15 of 76
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,214member
    felix01 said:
    leighr said:
    Cost is a relative thing. Perhaps Apple would have been better to introduce HomePod at $175 in order to firstly gain market share, and then move up to premium HomePodPro models. <snip>
    Most quality MBA programs have a case study or two on just this question and you are 100% bassackwards. The time-proven strategy is to skim off the premium market first while recovering R&D costs and then gradually step down the price as production ramps up and assembly experience lowers production costs. Sequentially skim off every segment of the market, high to low.

    One of the earliest practitioners of this strategy in the electronics business was Polaroid Corporation (consumer-friendly instant cameras). 

    I expect the HomePod to stay $350 for atleast 3 years.   Then they will raise the price to $399 with the second model (like they raised the price of the watch and iPadPro).

    I wish they had included an auxiliary in port like Google Max.  I decided to buy a SONOS Play 5 because I need the aux-in.    I wonder how many of Google Speaker partners felt screwed when Apple came out with the Google Max speaker (which seems to only be loud based on the review i've read).   Talk about really screwing your partners.   At least Amazon hasn't screwed over their Speaker Partners like SONOS.
      
  • Reply 16 of 76
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,154member
    Can't wait to get mine and personally now I've read all about beam forming and the tech stuff plus reviewers listening experiences,  I think they incredibly low priced.

    I wonder what other audio gear Apple has on the way?  I have to laugh at the way Apple's small niche divisions jointly rake in more profit than Google and Microsoft combined yet Wall Street thinks Apple is a one trick pony and a lame one at that.  
    lolliver
  • Reply 17 of 76
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,214member

    uktechie said:
    I struggle to believe that the HomePod will really offer “high quality audio”. I accept it should be better than an Amazon dot or even an echo thanks to its slightly bigger speaker but I can’t believe it will offer the kind of HiFi quality audio that you can expect from even a $100 mini HiFi with TWO speakers each featuring a tweeter and a woofer. 

    You can’t get decent stereo from a single device like that and the eye watering price for two makes me wonder who would do this when it’s so easy to have TWO standard high quality speakers connected to an amplifier with speaker cable. Some people in small apartments may struggle to find the space but anybody with a little space and a desire for high quality audio would surely find the space or wall mount the speakers? 

    I can understand many people want always-on Siri in the home but that offers no attraction for me. Siri is great but our family already has Siri on various iPhones and Apple Watches and the high cost of HomePod seems hard to justify compared to other options. 

    I’m sure the HomePod will sound OK. I tried a Google Home for a little while and the audio was “OK” but really not comparable even to a cheap HiFi system that costs less than a Google Home let alone an Home Pod. 

    Real audiophiles will stick with their high end amps and quality speakers. Don’t pretend this can in any way be comparable. 
    HomePod isn't for audiophiles.   That's too small of a market.   Its for the millions of people who don't have a sound system in the iPod/iPhone era who have iPhones.  Easily sell 3 million units ($1Billion) this quartet and 10 million for the year.   I don't even expect a SoundBar in the next 3 years if Apple plans to do that.
    shark5150StrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 18 of 76
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,077member
    Yep, girlfriend just told me about this and now we’ll be getting one at the half off price. Have absolutely no use for it as I have a way better HT system setup, but might as well try it for a bit. 
  • Reply 19 of 76
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,154member
    Yep, girlfriend just told me about this and now we’ll be getting one at the half off price. Have absolutely no use for it as I have a way better HT system setup, but might as well try it for a bit. 
    I may be wrong but I suspect over time Apple's use of advanced computer technology and beam forming will make all audio HiFi enthusiasts rethink what they consider the bees knees.  I am not saying HomePods are going to compete with the audio on a high end system but I am saying more and more high end systems will start to incorporate the same technology and one day we will look back to when Apple changed the face of HiFi. 
  • Reply 20 of 76
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    I wonder if Apple is about to shake up the hi fi speaker market just like they have done before with other products? What seems to be a potential game changer is incorporating computer hardware and software into a mass market speaker as opposed to super expensive gear. Will there be a whole range of Apple HomePod speakers in 3 years time?
    lolliver
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