Watch: Cheaper HomePod rumored to debut this year

Posted:
in General Discussion
The HomePod is Apple's first step into a world of smart speakers that can do everything from stream music to control all of your smart home devices. The main downside is that it's priced at a hefty $349, more than many people are willing to pay for a smart speaker.





HomePod is loaded with hardware and technology that makes for incredibly clean, clear and consistent audio reproduction, but there's a catch. Siri is unbearably dumb compared to Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant, which are loaded onto speakers priced from $50 to $130.

Even with its extremely good audio quality, some have called the $349 HomePod overpriced in comparison to its competition. The Economic Daily News this week reported a cheaper version of HomePod is due to arrive in the second half of 2018.

The report said that the lower priced smart speaker could sell for between $150 to $200. This would be a great option for those who really want a central, voice operated hub to control all of their HomeKit accessories and assist them with their daily needs at home.

At this point, it's not clear if the reduction in price will come with a reduction in the sound quality.

In addition to HomePod, the report claims Apple is looking to market a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad model set to cost $259 -- $70 cheaper than Apple's current entry-level iPad.

The report also reiterates predictions of a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone variant with an expected retail price of around $650-$750. That model would likely feature the iPhone X TrueDepth sensor array, but at a much cheaper price, thanks to the LCD screen.




Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook saying that the iPhone X has been Apple's strongest seller since release, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that there has been a unexpected reduction in orders for Apple's iPhone X beyond normal seasonal decreases.

Because of that, he predicts that the iPhone X as it stands today will be discontinued in the fall and replaced by a revamped handset and a larger iPhone X Plus, to offset concerns about usable screen area. He also predicts that Apple's low-end MacBook Air model will see a price drop from $999 to between $799 and $899.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Nope. Because.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 413member
    Not sure how a reduction in price wouldn’t come with a reduction in sound quality? Seems pretty obvious and it’s kind of a silly statement to even make. 
  • Reply 3 of 16
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,615member
    what a waste of engineering and developer time.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,364member
    supadav03 said:
    Not sure how a reduction in price wouldn’t come with a reduction in sound quality? Seems pretty obvious and it’s kind of a silly statement to even make. 
    Because you don't need the same number and kind of speakers in a smaller version. For instance, if these are intended as satellite speakers. Apple could be planning a whole 5.1 surround setup with the current HP acting as the sub, and distributing the location cues to the smaller satellite speakers. Obviously a smaller speaker wouldn't be intended to fill a room with sound in the same way. But it doesn't mean it still won't be high quality sound, or higher quality than the competition. 
  • Reply 5 of 16
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 857member
    No thanks.  I prefer a premium quality listening experience along with all the bells and whistles Apple provides. 
    Will be buying a second HomePod as soon as the two of them can connect  and produce an awesome stereo sound.
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 6 of 16
    bluefire1 said:
    No thanks.  I prefer a premium quality listening experience along with all the bells and whistles Apple provides. 
    Will be buying a second HomePod as soon as the two of them can connect  and produce an awesome stereo sound.
    Apple offers different models/prices/specs for almost everything in their product line. It’s not much of a stretch to predict a smaller, less expensive speaker might be released by Apple in the future.
  • Reply 7 of 16
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 293member
    I could only see this happening, if this is part of Apple’s stereo introduction.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    in fact with apples margins, they can easily provide the same product at a lower price point perhaps differentiating just with color. As they have done in the past.


    Apple is so huge they are just another consumer electronics supplier, with brand recognition instill g the feeling of if its expensive they will think its good. Kinda of like bose and beats which also are not all that great but just charge of fortune for an OK experience. True premium & luxury is found in niche suppliers.

  • Reply 9 of 16
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 254member
    I was air playing a movie the other night to homepod from atv and sure enough a stereo effect was heard and noticed....with each arrays of many speakers i think stereo effects are working...
    i dont know if its just me
  • Reply 10 of 16
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,084member
    I’m not saying this report is false ... I have no insight on that ... but (very oddly) missing from this report is that the “Economic Daily News” mentioned as the source is the Taiwan Economic Daily News, a notororiously inaccurate rumour-monger of some ill repute from this very site’s own (named) writers.

    There’s also the fact that Apple very, very rarely produces a cheaper and roughly-equal version of a product so quickly after introducing the first version, but that leaves the possibility that Apple might produce a “crappier” version of the HomePod ... oh wait, no it doesn’t, because Apple doesn’t do that.

    What is fair to say is that Apple seems to be expanding its audio offering of late, and so some further speakers that may have a lower price point are a possibility. I personally doubt we’ll get a “HomePod Junior,” and I also think the writer neglected to mention that the HomePod’s Siri, while not up to the versatility of the iOS version, is a) focused on what people actually do with smart speakers, and b) capable of being upgraded as Apple figures out what else users want.

    I’ll tell you what users don’t want ... a hackable, always-recording smart speaker that literally mocks them for buying it! :D
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 11 of 16
    seankillseankill Posts: 450member
    chasm said:
    I’m not saying this report is false ... I have no insight on that ... but (very oddly) missing from this report is that the “Economic Daily News” mentioned as the source is the Taiwan Economic Daily News, a notororiously inaccurate rumour-monger of some ill repute from this very site’s own (named) writers.

    There’s also the fact that Apple very, very rarely produces a cheaper and roughly-equal version of a product so quickly after introducing the first version, but that leaves the possibility that Apple might produce a “crappier” version of the HomePod ... oh wait, no it doesn’t, because Apple doesn’t do that.

    What is fair to say is that Apple seems to be expanding its audio offering of late, and so some further speakers that may have a lower price point are a possibility. I personally doubt we’ll get a “HomePod Junior,” and I also think the writer neglected to mention that the HomePod’s Siri, while not up to the versatility of the iOS version, is a) focused on what people actually do with smart speakers, and b) capable of being upgraded as Apple figures out what else users want.

    I’ll tell you what users don’t want ... a hackable, always-recording smart speaker that literally mocks them for buying it! :D

    Article should've said Siri is trash. Problem with a HomePod mini is then it would suck in sound too. Hopefully Apple has some huge updates for Siri coming.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 12 of 16
    mike54mike54 Posts: 291member
    I wouldn't mind a decent quality Apple speaker with quality Airplay 2, an input socket, a hardware on/off switch, bluetooth 5 with W2 chip and a removable standard power cable.
    Have enough smarts so it can receive updates to its airplay, bluetooth and networking, and with the bluetooth W2 you can also use your AppleTV remote to control it. And there should be an app so you can configure your sound.
    No need to have all that processing power, microphones and Siri as in the current HomePod. Just have good quality speakers. That should bring the price down to almost half the price. And think it would sell well if it had these features.


  • Reply 13 of 16
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 173member
    To HomePod ... Hey Siri, play me 'Send Reinforcements We're Going to Advance'.  OK playing 'Send 4 & 6 Pence We're going to a Dance'
  • Reply 14 of 16
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,597member
    If the smaller speaker is half the power of the original, then it's tempting to buy two and get real stereo separation without loss in total power.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    I'd go for a smaller one. I live in a fairly small apartment, so I don't really need the larger one just yet. And if it reduced the price, I could live without Siri too. I've never really used it on any of my devices already, so I wouldn't miss it at all. But, that's also just my singular use case and I know a product line isn't designed around one person's preferences. 
    But, I'd appreciate the opportunity to at least have the chance to purchase one. Still not available in Canada. Hopefully soon though!
  • Reply 16 of 16
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,062member
    mac_128 said:
    Because you don't need the same number and kind of speakers in a smaller version. For instance, if these are intended as satellite speakers. Apple could be planning a whole 5.1 surround setup with the current HP acting as the sub, and distributing the location cues to the smaller satellite speakers. Obviously a smaller speaker wouldn't be intended to fill a room with sound in the same way. But it doesn't mean it still won't be high quality sound, or higher quality than the competition. 
    That's an intriguing thought: Apple developing an audio system around the HomePod and somebody gets wind of it and thinks it's a standalone HomePod Mini instead of part of a system.

    Or it's both— an HPM for your desk, kitchen counter, or nightstand instead of the entire room, and it transforms into a connected satellite speaker when near other HomePod Overlords.

    I'm not sure Apple would go that far, but I really like the idea.
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