HomePod now $299 in US, similar cuts made worldwide

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited April 2019
Apple has permanently lowered the retail price of the HomePod to $299 in the U.S, a $50 cut from the launch price.




The change took place early Thursday morning on the U.S. Apple Store. Similar cuts are rolling out to international markets as well, but not all markets are as low as the $299 retail on the U.S. store. Apple corporate employees reached on Monday morning not authorized to speak on behalf of the company said to AppleInsider that the price cuts are permanent, and a result of manufacturing savings at scale.

Apple's HomePod has an array of seven tweeters, each with their own individual drivers, custom amplifiers and transducers. Each tweeter comes custom-designed with a precision acoustic horn that directionally focuses sound.

The HomePod also has advanced sensors that analyze the space, so the speaker knows where it is positioned in a room. The device then uses audio beam-forming to focus the sound towards the center of the room while minimizing sound projected towards any walls.

Vocals and direct sound can be beamed them to the middle of the room, or bounced off the walls to create an ambient audio feel. It can even create stereo sound by splitting audio channels between the multiple tweeters. Another HomePod in the same room will automatically pair with the first to create true stereo sound, while tuning audio to project towards the center of the room instead of towards each other.





The HomePod also has a dedicated high-excursion subwoofer, which means the woofer diaphragm has high travel of 20mm, which Apple says is remarkable for a woofer that size. Higher travel means more air is being moved, creating more bass.

The HomePod is controlled by Apple's Apple's A8 processor, the same chip found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The A8 is also in charge of Siri, which works with "Hey Siri" and can be used to do anything from checking the weather, converting units of measurements, playing a podcast, checking nearby traffic, setting a timer or reminder, and even sending a text message.

In February, it was rumored that the HomePod and the Apple TV 4K were being sold at cost or even at a loss, but that seems unlikely. Be sure to check out AppleInsider's HomePod Price Guide for the best deals at Apple authorized resellers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 621member
    maybe this year on Black Friday we might see $199....picked up my last one this past Black Friday for $249 at Best Buy. (Currently $279 at Best Buy)
    edited April 2019 razorpit
  • Reply 2 of 31
    Oh No, yet another AI article on promoting the false propaganda of price cuts by Apple!!! An DED article attacking AI is overdue now.
  • Reply 3 of 31
    The sound is there.  The looks are there.  The I/O is not.  Apple could have easily increased the appeal of the HomePod with decent I/O.  This is an ecosystem lock-in device.  With decent I/O it could have been a Services device.  
    anantksundaramelectrosoftbeowulfschmidtn2itivguysarricacroprDanManTXcornchiptokyojimucaladanian
  • Reply 4 of 31
    The sound is there.  The looks are there.  The I/O is not.  Apple could have easily increased the appeal of the HomePod with decent I/O.  This is an ecosystem lock-in device.  With decent I/O it could have been a Services device.  
    This is the main problem. 

    Well-said. 
    1STnTENDERBITSn2itivguycornchipbigpics
  • Reply 5 of 31
    And the countdown starts on Homepod 2...
    beowulfschmidtgenovelledjkfishercornchipstanhopecaladanianAppleExposed
  • Reply 6 of 31
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 621member
    all of a sudden been having problems creating a stereo pair...the update did not fix the issue.
    When in "stereo pair" I can only play my music but unable to control smart home controls. It will just say unable to connect. So I removed the stereo pair bc smart home controls are more important to me, and when speakers are separated I am still able to play music.
  • Reply 7 of 31
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,471member
    I'm wanting another one for my office, this is great news.  I'd suggest Apple should offer a further discount on a pair.  They make such a phenomenal stereo set up.
    edited April 2019 StrangeDaysrazorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 31
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 607member
    I suppose I have gotten $50 worth of use since launch date.
    davenAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 31
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,471member
    NY1822 said:
    all of a sudden been having problems creating a stereo pair...the update did not fix the issue.
    When in "stereo pair" I can only play my music but unable to control smart home controls. It will just say unable to connect. So I removed the stereo pair bc smart home controls are more important to me, and when speakers are separated I am still able to play music.
    Not had that problem with my stereo pair.  Maybe best to remove all the setups and start over?
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 31
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,471member
    And the countdown starts on Homepod 2...
    Good point ...  any guesses ... some speakers aimed at the ceiling maybe?
    edited April 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 31
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,396member
    Meanwhile, a comment over at macrumors caught my eye:
    In April 2018, well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was "mulling" a "low-cost version" of the HomePod, potentially due to shipments of the current version being "far below market expectations.
    Really? Were they really?

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 31
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,396member
    I just want an Atmos soundbar+subwoofer with HomePod technical capabilities and a decent choice of ports and open platform capabilities.maybe an Apple TV built in. Not straightjacketed into Apple services, but able to use a variety of services that I, the user, may or may not want. But my choice. Don’t care about Siri.

    I would pay real coin for that.
    edited April 2019 sarricabigpics
  • Reply 13 of 31
    Ignore me. I misread the price of the US version. 
    edited April 2019
  • Reply 14 of 31
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    This is what it should have been priced at all along. People who prefer superior sound quality were never buying HomePod anyway. It would never replace my soundbar with subwoofer. And the Bose soundlink mini I have is great because it doesn’t have to be connected to power to use. No it’s not a smart speaker but then Apple wasn’t really marketing HomePod as one either.
  • Reply 15 of 31
    payecopayeco Posts: 517member
    The sound is there.  The looks are there.  The I/O is not.  Apple could have easily increased the appeal of the HomePod with decent I/O.  This is an ecosystem lock-in device.  With decent I/O it could have been a Services device.  
    While it’s still kind of a hack, running AirChord, which will run on any iOS device that supports iOS 10 or later, allows you to turn any device with an audio output into an AirPlay server you can play back on a HomePod (or anything else that supports AirPlay or Bluetooth playback).

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/airchord/id1343901847?mt=8

    Demo of it in action: https://youtu.be/o336hfI5QWk
    edited April 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 31
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 868member
    You know what.. when Apple cancelled AirPower I just thought I’m very lucky Apple didn’t cancel HomePod so I can have a good stereo speakers that’s just plugged and play. If Apple didn’t release it I’d have to buy some 3rd party speakers like Devialet that don’t work as well (needs app), isn’t well integrated, and even more expensive. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 31
    payeco said:
    The sound is there.  The looks are there.  The I/O is not.  Apple could have easily increased the appeal of the HomePod with decent I/O.  This is an ecosystem lock-in device.  With decent I/O it could have been a Services device.  
    While it’s still kind of a hack, running AirChord, which will run on any iOS device that supports iOS 10 or later, allows you to turn any device with an audio output into an AirPlay server you can play back on a HomePod (or anything else that supports AirPlay or Bluetooth playback).

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/airchord/id1343901847?mt=8

    Demo of it in action: https://youtu.be/o336hfI5QWk
    That's perfect evidence that supports my point.  It's a hack that shouldn't be needed.  The HomePod should have had decent I/O from the beginning.  AirChord, a valiant effort, would not further a broader appeal for HomePod.  If anything it would be a cautionary discouragement.  I personally think Apple will correct that error on the next iteration of the HomePod.  
  • Reply 18 of 31
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,356member
    Oh No, yet another AI article on promoting the false propaganda of price cuts by Apple!!! An DED article attacking AI is overdue now.
    Some of the other Contributing Editors for AI come across to me as have a negative Apple slant. One that is echoed in other articles. Mac rumors many times posts the same information but the headlines, tone, and focus can be completely different, depending on the author. It’s been that way for a few years. I appreciate DED’s dedication to highlighting the inaccuracies and sometimes all out deceptive narrative of analysis and some journalists when it comes to Apple. 
    randominternetpersonchiacornchipStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 31
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    MacPro said:
    NY1822 said:
    all of a sudden been having problems creating a stereo pair...the update did not fix the issue.
    When in "stereo pair" I can only play my music but unable to control smart home controls. It will just say unable to connect. So I removed the stereo pair bc smart home controls are more important to me, and when speakers are separated I am still able to play music.
    Not had that problem with my stereo pair.  Maybe best to remove all the setups and start over?
    Ya, I have a stereo pair also and it works just fine. I can do home control with it also. Last night I had the HomePod turn off a outside light and it worked just fine. Last weekend I took one to work. Brought it back home and it was simple enough to connect it back to my Network. It asked it it was going to be a stereo pair and what side left or right, click on that and all was good once again. It was even easier than the first time I got my Homepod and had to figure out how to get a stereo pair.

    As for price, I got mine for $249. You can find sales once in a while from B&H which is also tax free for most states, my last one I got at Target. Ordered it online and picked it up at the $249 price point. This is what I feel the Normal Price should be. I think they are worth $249. I think $299 is still a little to much.

    It does get louder with 2 Homepods. You can clearly hear the stereo Separation. They really do sound great. I don't use them with my AppleTV. I have a much better Sound Bar in the bedroom and Surround Sound setup in my Family Room. But they are great for Music. The work great for Home control. They won't work for things like unlocking doors or in my case opening my garage. I think you can close, just can't open. Part of the security. you need a unlocked device. Like you can't do it on your iPhone from the lock screen, you would h ave to unlock your iPhone first. Well you don't want selling telling Siri though a Window to open the garage or unlock a door.

    Make sure your Homepods are on the newest update.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 31
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 806member
    The sound is there.  The looks are there.  The I/O is not.  Apple could have easily increased the appeal of the HomePod with decent I/O.  This is an ecosystem lock-in device.  With decent I/O it could have been a Services device.  
    This is the main problem. 

    Well-said. 
    I used my Apple TV as other I/O, fortunately my other sound players are Apples....my Bose are now parking in the garage:-((
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