Rumor: Apple working on cheaper HomePod for launch this year

Posted:
in General Discussion
A somewhat questionable report out of Taiwan on Wednesday says Apple is working on more affordable editions of stalwart product lines including iPhone, iPad and Mac, as well as a lower priced HomePod.




Citing industry sources, the Economic Daily News (via Mac Otakara) reports a cheaper version of HomePod is due to arrive in the second half of 2018. The lower priced smart speaker could sell for between $150 to $200, the report said.

Whether Apple intends to release all-new HomePod hardware, or simply reduce pricing of its current $349 speaker was not made clear in the Economic Daily report. Mac Otakara, without citing sources, speculates a "small size" version could launch later this year to challenge similarly priced products from market leader Amazon.

Reviews of HomePod, including AppleInsider's, tout the speaker's superior sound quality, but note a distinct lack of "smarts" when it comes to Siri. The virtual assistant is strictly limited to Apple's ecosystem of services, and is currently unable to handle seemingly simple tasks like creating Calendar entries and making phone calls.

For $349, some have called the smart speaker overpriced in comparison to its competition. Amazon and Google brought their respective Alexa and Google Assistant technologies into the home at much lower price points, potentially prompting Apple to do the same.

In addition to HomePod, the report rehashes well-trod predictions of a 6.1-inch iPhone first aired by KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo last year. Previous rumors placed pricing for the LCD iPhone variant with TrueDepth sensor array at between $700 and $800, but today's report pegs retail cost at $650 to $750.

The Taiwanese publication goes on to cite a recent note from WitsView VP of Research Qiu Yubin, who estimates pricing of a rumored low-end MacBook Air model, again recently predicted by Kuo, to fall between $799 and $899.

Finally, without citing sources, the report claims Apple is looking to market a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad model set to cost $259, some $70 cheaper than the company's current entry level offering.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,480member
    Need bit cheaper Go-To Macbook Pros for Casual,highschool,college,small business users. Get rid of 128GB MBP.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,162member
    I think they should lower the price right now.
    And really, really do something about SIRI. Urgently.  
    Maybe lower the price when announcing a slew of new mac, iPad  and iPhone SE upgrades to reduce attention to the move. Apple has done this before, not least with the original iPhone. Do it this month. And reimburse early adopters the price difference. And be open about it - new market, positioning, Yada yada. Emphasise what incredible value it is at the new price point.
    No matter how hard Apple tries to position it as a high quality speaker with smart features, it is regarded by the market as a smart speaker. Thus price is important. Apple has no history in high quality audiophile speakers, but does in electronic smarts.
    Problem is, SIRI’s outdated performance has been highly exposed by this product. This will eventually impact on more important product sales as it calls into question Apple’s electronic smarts.  It should not have been announced let alone released until SIRI had leapfrogged the competition. 
    edited March 7
  • Reply 3 of 34
    I’d like to see something akin to the Echo Dot. More focus on the utility of voice commands/personal assistant especially for home automation rather than music (that’s what the current HomePod is for)..
  • Reply 4 of 34
    StuartGreenwellStuartGreenwell Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I just saw an article were new car buyers (Volkswagen maybe) got six months free of Apple Music.  There should be a similar promotion for HomePod.  
  • Reply 5 of 34
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,507member
    I just saw an article were new car buyers (Volkswagen maybe) got six months free of Apple Music.  There should be a similar promotion for HomePod.  
    Yeah I kinda thought Apple should have given HomePod buyers a 3-month trial of Apple Music. 

    Yes, it was VW and Fiat/Chrysler (FCA) that are giving away a 6-month trial of Apple Music with the purchase of a new vehicle. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 6 of 34
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,493member
    entropys said:
    I think they should lower the price right now.
    And really, really do something about SIRI. Urgently.  
    Maybe lower the price when announcing a slew of new mac, iPad  and iPhone SE upgrades to reduce attention to the move. Apple has done this before, not least with the original iPhone. Do it this month. And reimburse early adopters the price difference. And be open about it - new market, positioning, Yada yada. Emphasise what incredible value it is at the new price point.
    No matter how hard Apple tries to position it as a high quality speaker with smart features, it is regarded by the market as a smart speaker. Thus price is important. Apple has no history in high quality audiophile speakers, but does in electronic smarts.
    Problem is, SIRI’s outdated performance has been highly exposed by this product. This will eventually impact on more important product sales as it calls into question Apple’s electronic smarts.  It should not have been announced let alone released until SIRI had leapfrogged the competition. 
    " It should not have been announced let alone released until SIRI had leapfrogged the competition. "

    Apple had a 5-year head start to do that yet didn't.  At this point, that's not gonna happen.
    edited March 7
  • Reply 7 of 34
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,068member
     Don’t these rumors always turn out to be that Apple is working on an update to the product and the one currently selling turns out to be the “cheaper“ model rumored?  Although I could see them making a smaller one for surround sound  made easy . 
    edited March 7 DAalsethlolliver
  • Reply 8 of 34
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 499member
    I love my homepods and think they are priced correctly for a premium speaker considering just a few months ago standard bluetooth speakers with no voice commands were selling in the range of $250-$300. Having a smaller version of the homepod for basic homekit commands would be a great idea for those who want the security of Apple in their home vs it competitors.
    edited March 7 shakes169lollivercornchipcornchip
  • Reply 9 of 34
    Apple is serious lacking in voice assistants (Siri), Apple Maps, and desktop Macs (Mac Pro, Mac mini). Kind of hopeless at this point for all three.
    freethinking
  • Reply 10 of 34
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,162member
    entropys said:
    I think they should lower the price right now.
    And really, really do something about SIRI. Urgently.  
    Maybe lower the price when announcing a slew of new mac, iPad  and iPhone SE upgrades to reduce attention to the move. Apple has done this before, not least with the original iPhone. Do it this month. And reimburse early adopters the price difference. And be open about it - new market, positioning, Yada yada. Emphasise what incredible value it is at the new price point.
    No matter how hard Apple tries to position it as a high quality speaker with smart features, it is regarded by the market as a smart speaker. Thus price is important. Apple has no history in high quality audiophile speakers, but does in electronic smarts.
    Problem is, SIRI’s outdated performance has been highly exposed by this product. This will eventually impact on more important product sales as it calls into question Apple’s electronic smarts.  It should not have been announced let alone released until SIRI had leapfrogged the competition. 
    " It should not have been announced let alone released until SIRI had leapfrogged the competition. "

    Apple had a 5-year head start to do that yet didn't.  At this point, that's not gonna happen.
    Well, I kinda hope they have SIRI’s hot and extremely talented daughter getting fitted out in a nice debutante dress.  The coming out ball can be at WWDC.
    edited March 7 king editor the grateshakes169jdgazcornchip
  • Reply 11 of 34
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 116member
    I’m going to hazard a guess that this rumored less expensive HomePod was nothing but a prototype circulated within the supply chain that was never meant to see the light of day.

    Whle I’m unable to peer into the mind of Phil Schiller, IMO staggering the release of HomePods at different price points is a less than optimal strategy.  You lose the benefit of capturing and understanding the price elasticity of an Apple branded new product in the marketplace.  True, you can make some deductions using the limited data available from competing product.  But the data will be less robust.
  • Reply 12 of 34
    If would be worth the money if it did the things it was promised it would do. Missing AirPlay 2 and stereo pairing makes these things overpriced. Literal software features that were demoed last June are still not present a month after its launch. 
    Unacceptable. 
    No one needs a cheaper, half-baked HomePod. Siri isn’t even that impressive on the HomePod. HomeKit is lacking behind SmartThings and Alexa. so adding more access to Siri will not do well for them unless they improve Siri. 
    Add the stuff that was promised 9 months ago and then you’ll see them selling. Until then, nobody wants to invest in half a dozen HomePods when all they are is handicapped airplay speakers. 
  • Reply 13 of 34
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 788member
    HomePod is priced just right for what it provides and for what it will provide with updates.

    foregoneconclusionmike1
  • Reply 14 of 34
    talexytalexy Posts: 53member
    Sounds like an advice that the „tech experts“ gave Apple over and over again, gone rumor: Do what the others do and price your devices competitive to the low end competition. Win by units sold!
    That is what Apple never went for and it has been pretty successful with it. 
    So surely the were working on this thing 6 years and now they´re going to release one product after another in rapid fashion and go lower with the price each time. Makes *perfect* sense to me …

    And for all that Siri bashing: yeah it should improve and I waited for the big splash many years now, but it has nothing to do with homepod, the hardware product. The quality of it seems just fine.


  • Reply 15 of 34
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,854member
    I just saw an article were new car buyers (Volkswagen maybe) got six months free of Apple Music.  There should be a similar promotion for HomePod.  
    BMW gives 1-yr Satellite radio. 
  • Reply 16 of 34
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,854member
    talexy said:
    Sounds like an advice that the „tech experts“ gave Apple over and over again, gone rumor: Do what the others do and price your devices competitive to the low end competition. Win by units sold!
    That is what Apple never went for and it has been pretty successful with it. 
    So surely the were working on this thing 6 years and now they´re going to release one product after another in rapid fashion and go lower with the price each time. Makes *perfect* sense to me …

    And for all that Siri bashing: yeah it should improve and I waited for the big splash many years now, but it has nothing to do with homepod, the hardware product. The quality of it seems just fine.


    Well, speakers are not iPhone or iPad. You don’t need user experience on speakers but great sound. Siri is already mediocre vs competitors. So, Apple must price HomePod more competitive to win customers. I like the HomePod but don’t see myself spending $350 on a tiny speaker which mostly for playing music! Apple should price it in $200ish imo.
    edited March 8
  • Reply 17 of 34
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,460member
    Literal software features that were demoed last June are still not present a month after its launch. 
    Unacceptable. 
    A whole month!
    cornchip
  • Reply 18 of 34
    danvmdanvm Posts: 629member
    fallenjt said:
    talexy said:
    Sounds like an advice that the „tech experts“ gave Apple over and over again, gone rumor: Do what the others do and price your devices competitive to the low end competition. Win by units sold!
    That is what Apple never went for and it has been pretty successful with it. 
    So surely the were working on this thing 6 years and now they´re going to release one product after another in rapid fashion and go lower with the price each time. Makes *perfect* sense to me …

    And for all that Siri bashing: yeah it should improve and I waited for the big splash many years now, but it has nothing to do with homepod, the hardware product. The quality of it seems just fine.


    Well, speakers are not iPhone or iPad. You don’t need user experience on speakers but great sound. Siri is already mediocre vs competitors. So, Apple must price HomePod more competitive to win customers. I like the HomePod but don’t see myself spending $350 on a tiny speaker which mostly for playing music! Apple should price it in $200ish imo.
    I may agree in part that speakers don't need user experience.  The thing is that the HomePod is a smart speaker, and as today, it lacks the smart compared to the competition, and it affects the whole product.  

    Regarding price, personally I don't think $350 is expensive, since it looks like sound quality is very similar to other smart speakers in the same price range.  But I'll have no issues at all if Apple takes it to the $200 range.  :)
  • Reply 19 of 34
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,725member
    JWSC said:
    I’m going to hazard a guess that this rumored less expensive HomePod was nothing but a prototype circulated within the supply chain that was never meant to see the light of day.

    Whle I’m unable to peer into the mind of Phil Schiller, IMO staggering the release of HomePods at different price points is a less than optimal strategy.  You lose the benefit of capturing and understanding the price elasticity of an Apple branded new product in the marketplace.  True, you can make some deductions using the limited data available from competing product.  But the data will be less robust.
    They also have not even fully released this model accross all markets (Canada, most of Europe, etc).
  • Reply 20 of 34
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,725member
    mindwaves said:
    Apple is serious lacking in voice assistants (Siri), Apple Maps, and desktop Macs (Mac Pro, Mac mini). Kind of hopeless at this point for all three.
    Seems you haven't used Maps in 5 years huh.?
    cornchip
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