Apple releases $99 HomePod mini smart speaker

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2020
Apple at its "Hi, Speed" keynote event on Tuesday unveiled a new lower-cost smart speaker dubbed the HomePod mini, which will retail for $99.

HomePod Mini with iPhone 12
HomePod Mini with iPhone 12


The device shares a design similar to the standard HomePod, but is spherical and less expensive. Its design also includes a backlit touch surface on the top with playback controls. That surface will also glow when Siri is invoked.

Although it's smaller, the HomePod mini still places a similar emphasis on high-quality playback with new "computational audio" features and audio hardware. It doesn't quite the same bill of materials as HomePod, but it still features a full-range dynamic driver and two passive radiators for advanced bass response. It also packs an acoustic waveguide to provide clear, 360-degree audio playback.

The onboard Apple S5 chip provides the computational audio features, which will include complex tuning models that allow the speaker to intelligently optimize both loudness and dynamic range.

The HomePod mini's internal components. Credit: Apple
The HomePod mini's internal components. Credit: Apple


One of the most significant new additions to the HomePod mini is a new feature that will allow it to act as an Ultra Wideband base station to precisely locate U1-equipped devices, like the iPhone and Apple Watch Series 6.

Apple says that HomePod mini will be receiving a "magical" Handoff experience. A HomePod mini will understand when an iPhone is nearby, and will provide audio, visual, and haptic feedback so it feels like two Apple devices are actually physically connected.

But it's the price that stands out as the most attractive feature of the HomePod mini, and could allow Apple to better compete with the likes of rivals like Amazon and Google. Apple's smart speaker competitors all offer entry-level devices at prices far below HomePod's $299 price tag. Additionally, Apple notes that HomePod mini will be compatible with third-party streaming services like Amazon Music and Pandora.

The price point will also bolster users who would like to add several pairs around their home for surround-sound audio. In fact, HomePod mini will also be able to detect other HomePod models nearby and intelligently become a stereo pair.

Alongside HomePod mini, Apple also announced new Siri features that will make the digital assistant much more responsive and intelligent. For example, Siri will be able to identify different speakers and carry out contextual actions based on who is making a request. It also supports the new Intercom feature introduced on Tuesday.

New Handoff features will provide haptic, audio, and visual feedback. Credit: Apple
New Handoff features will provide haptic, audio, and visual feedback. Credit: Apple


Apple also says that it produces HomePod mini with sustainability in mind. It uses mostly recycled materials, and uses power-efficient components and software that can cut down on energy expenditure.

Rumors of a lower-cost HomePod have surfaced consistently since 2018. Reportedly, Apple was mulling a cheaper home audio device as a way to boost lackluster sales and market share. Most recently, an accurate leaker predicted that Apple would forego a successor to the HomePod and would instead just release the HomePod mini at its Oct. 13 "Hi, Speed" event.

The HomePod mini joins a wave of Apple devices that have gotten lower in cost, a list that also includes the iPhone SE and the $999 MacBook Air.

HomePod mini will retail for $99 and will become available for preorder on Nov. 6. The smart speaker will start shipping out to customers the week of Nov. 16.

Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod or HomePod mini. Say, "Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider Daily," and you'll get a fast update direct from the AppleInsider team.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,249member
    No brainer at that price 👍
    donjuanjahbladeseanjeideardwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 61
    Take THAT, Alexa!
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 61
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,249member
    I wonder if you can do Intercom between households?
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 61
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,589member
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Beatscornchip
  • Reply 5 of 61
    elijahg said:
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Pretty sure they're never going to do that.  Apple has never participated in the "race to the bottom" with pricing - just like they'll never release a $300 laptop or a $100 iPhone.  They're just not interested in competing in those markets - never have and I can't see that they ever will.  Steve was adamant about that in his time and Tim's kept it that way.

    They sell billions of all their products, DESPITE the prices, because they only compete in the mid to high end markets, but they do it better than the others (at least if all those buyers - and the "I want one" people - are any indication) even at the "higher" prices.  

    One of the big reasons for this is Apple's focus on experience not specs.  They bring specs to the table to deliver on the experience, but they don't just deliver specs for specs' sake or bragging rights or whatever else like most of the others.

    I agree of course, I really do hope all these new features are available in the original HomePods we all already have.
    mike1lkruppStrangeDaysBeatsAppleZulujahbladerandominternetpersoncornchipiHywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 61
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,965member
    Detnator said:
    elijahg said:
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Pretty sure they're never going to do that.  Apple has never participated in the "race to the bottom" with pricing - just like they'll never release a $300 laptop or a $100 iPhone.  They're just not interested in competing in those markets - never have and I can't see that they ever will.  Steve was adamant about that in his time and Tim's kept it that way.

    They sell billions of all their products, DESPITE the prices, because they only compete in the mid to high end markets, but they do it better than the others (at least if all those buyers - and the "I want one" people - are any indication) even at the "higher" prices.  

    One of the big reasons for this is Apple's focus on experience not specs.  They bring specs to the table to deliver on the experience, but they don't just deliver specs for specs' sake or bragging rights or whatever else like most of the others.

    I agree of course, I really do hope all these new features are available in the original HomePods we all already have.

    I'll have to rewatch that portion of the event, but I believe they said intercom would also come to the original HomePod.
    DetnatorBeatsjahbladerazorpitcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 61
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,698member
    HomePod Mini Perfect Christmas Gift!! Now turn regular HomePod into screen based Siri personal assistance.
    edited October 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 61
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 598member
    They said it has an S5. Is the watch SiP running this? That could explain why the Series 5 watch's internals were basically the same as the Series 4. Stabilizing the system design for a product they expect to manufacture without hardware changes for a few years.

    Sounds like the HomePod Mini has a U1 chip, though. If so, this doesn't seem like it would be the same S5 as in the watch.

    It will be interesting to find out in a few months!
    razorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 61
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,016member
    Detnator said:
    elijahg said:
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Pretty sure they're never going to do that.  Apple has never participated in the "race to the bottom" with pricing - just like they'll never release a $300 laptop or a $100 iPhone.  They're just not interested in competing in those markets - never have and I can't see that they ever will.  Steve was adamant about that in his time and Tim's kept it that way.

    They sell billions of all their products, DESPITE the prices, because they only compete in the mid to high end markets, but they do it better than the others (at least if all those buyers - and the "I want one" people - are any indication) even at the "higher" prices.  
    Yeah exactly. This dude doesn't get Apple. They aren't going to make a $30 echo dot.
    Detnatorpscooter63jahbladerazorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 61
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,589member
    Detnator said:
    elijahg said:
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Pretty sure they're never going to do that.  Apple has never participated in the "race to the bottom" with pricing - just like they'll never release a $300 laptop or a $100 iPhone.  They're just not interested in competing in those markets - never have and I can't see that they ever will.  Steve was adamant about that in his time and Tim's kept it that way.

    They sell billions of all their products, DESPITE the prices, because they only compete in the mid to high end markets, but they do it better than the others (at least if all those buyers - and the "I want one" people - are any indication) even at the "higher" prices.  

    One of the big reasons for this is Apple's focus on experience not specs.  They bring specs to the table to deliver on the experience, but they don't just deliver specs for specs' sake or bragging rights or whatever else like most of the others.

    I agree of course, I really do hope all these new features are available in the original HomePods we all already have.
    It wouldn't really be a race to the bottom as it wouldn't be an expensive device to produce, and wouldn't be competing against the equivalent higher end smart speaker from Amazon. The point is you would be able to operate HomeKit devices from places you might not want to put a $99 speaker. My dad would never listen to music in his bedroom for example, but might want to turn off the light or a wall socket for example, and $99 is a lot to pay for a device to do so, when its main feature (decent quality music) wouldn't be used.

    A £30 device that had a basic microphone and speaker just for Siri feedback would be very useful. Doesn't need high specs because the "experience" of this device would be Siri, not music. Though if Apple is so hung up on experience, they really need to fix Siri. Also I think selling "billions of all their products" is a bit of a stretch... The total sales of all iOS devices is about a billion iirc.
    edited October 2020 jony0iHy
  • Reply 11 of 61
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,685member
    Well this is going to sell like hot cakes. 
    Beatsjahbladerazorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 61
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,589member

    Detnator said:
    elijahg said:
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Pretty sure they're never going to do that.  Apple has never participated in the "race to the bottom" with pricing - just like they'll never release a $300 laptop or a $100 iPhone.  They're just not interested in competing in those markets - never have and I can't see that they ever will.  Steve was adamant about that in his time and Tim's kept it that way.

    They sell billions of all their products, DESPITE the prices, because they only compete in the mid to high end markets, but they do it better than the others (at least if all those buyers - and the "I want one" people - are any indication) even at the "higher" prices.  
    Yeah exactly. This dude doesn't get Apple. They aren't going to make a $30 echo dot.
    You said exactly the same about HomePod when people said it was too expensive. And now look where we are. You obviously don't get Apple.
    CloudTalkinavon b7
  • Reply 13 of 61
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,965member
    Detnator said:
    elijahg said:
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Pretty sure they're never going to do that.  Apple has never participated in the "race to the bottom" with pricing - just like they'll never release a $300 laptop or a $100 iPhone.  They're just not interested in competing in those markets - never have and I can't see that they ever will.  Steve was adamant about that in his time and Tim's kept it that way.

    They sell billions of all their products, DESPITE the prices, because they only compete in the mid to high end markets, but they do it better than the others (at least if all those buyers - and the "I want one" people - are any indication) even at the "higher" prices.  

    One of the big reasons for this is Apple's focus on experience not specs.  They bring specs to the table to deliver on the experience, but they don't just deliver specs for specs' sake or bragging rights or whatever else like most of the others.

    I agree of course, I really do hope all these new features are available in the original HomePods we all already have.
    From HomePod Mini page...

    And HomePod mini works with HomePod for multiroom audio and features like Intercom.

    donjuanjahbladerazorpitOnPartyBusinessGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 61
    elijahg said:

    Detnator said:
    elijahg said:
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Pretty sure they're never going to do that.  Apple has never participated in the "race to the bottom" with pricing - just like they'll never release a $300 laptop or a $100 iPhone.  They're just not interested in competing in those markets - never have and I can't see that they ever will.  Steve was adamant about that in his time and Tim's kept it that way.

    They sell billions of all their products, DESPITE the prices, because they only compete in the mid to high end markets, but they do it better than the others (at least if all those buyers - and the "I want one" people - are any indication) even at the "higher" prices.  
    Yeah exactly. This dude doesn't get Apple. They aren't going to make a $30 echo dot.
    You said exactly the same about HomePod when people said it was too expensive. And now look where we are. You obviously don't get Apple.
    "Yeah exactly. This dude doesn't get Apple. They aren't going to make a $30 echo dot."

    The $35 iPod Shuffle says hi.

    But seriously:
    The reason for the $30 Nest Minis and Echo Dots is to grow the Google Assistant and Alexa ecosystems respectively. They are minimal hardware products whose true purpose is to promote cloud/software/AI platforms.
    Apple is a hardware company. Siri is not a coud/software/AI platform for them as they really do not compete in this area. For Apple, Siri is and remains a digital assistant. Therefore, Apple has to put out a legit hardware product. While it is possible that a viable speaker product could have been $75, Apple's matching the price of similar $99 Alexa and Nest devices is appropriate.
    The actual biggest limiter on the HomePod line is not price anyway. It is that a HomePod can only be used with another Apple device. It has no optical, HDMI or even AUX input and even Bluetooth/UWB only works from other Apple devices. That is far too limiting for most people, who have a variety of potential audio products in the house. Example: want to connect it to your TV? Tough luck unless you are willing to buy a $180 Apple TV. And even that doesn't help you if you have your - say - PlayStation connected to the TV's other HDMI port. By contrast, Amazon encourages you to use the Echo Studio as a sound bar - it comes up in the "sound bar" search results - and it supports AUX and bluetooth connectivity to any device. 

    The premium smart speaker market is small. The market for people willing to pay $299 for a speaker that is only compatible with Apple products is basically nonexistent. This device has a better shot because it is closer to the "small bluetooth speaker" price range.
    edited October 2020 GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 15 of 61
    elijahg said:
    Detnator said:
    elijahg said:
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Pretty sure they're never going to do that.  Apple has never participated in the "race to the bottom" with pricing - just like they'll never release a $300 laptop or a $100 iPhone.  They're just not interested in competing in those markets - never have and I can't see that they ever will.  Steve was adamant about that in his time and Tim's kept it that way.

    They sell billions of all their products, DESPITE the prices, because they only compete in the mid to high end markets, but they do it better than the others (at least if all those buyers - and the "I want one" people - are any indication) even at the "higher" prices.  

    One of the big reasons for this is Apple's focus on experience not specs.  They bring specs to the table to deliver on the experience, but they don't just deliver specs for specs' sake or bragging rights or whatever else like most of the others.

    I agree of course, I really do hope all these new features are available in the original HomePods we all already have.
    It wouldn't really be a race to the bottom as it wouldn't be an expensive device to produce, and wouldn't be competing against the equivalent higher end smart speaker from Amazon. The point is you would be able to operate HomeKit devices from places you might not want to put a $99 speaker. My dad would never listen to music in his bedroom for example, but might want to turn off the light or a wall socket for example, and $99 is a lot to pay for a device to do so, when its main feature (decent quality music) wouldn't be used.

    A £30 device that had a basic microphone and speaker just for Siri feedback would be very useful. Doesn't need high specs because the "experience" of this device would be Siri, not music. Though if Apple is so hung up on experience, they really need to fix Siri. Also I think selling "billions of all their products" is a bit of a stretch... The total sales of all iOS devices is about a billion iirc.
    Ok... for a change you've made some decent points.

    The device you describe - Siri operation without the fancy audio - has merit and perhaps Apple has plans for such a device.  Not sure.  They've had such a focus on music and media in one form or another for nearly 20 years, that perhaps the device you describe takes away from that focus (in their minds).  Or... perhaps they're working on such a device and it's coming.  I'll wager it'd still be expensive by comparison - so $50 instead of $30 perhaps.  But who knows.  Fair enough.

    And yes... Siri definitely has issues, and I really don't understand why the company with the most money and arguably the biggest R&D budget for everything can't seem to get Siri a lot better.  The improvements in the voice and other things have been pretty awesome, but she's still useless at voice recognition and some requests compared with Alexa and Google sometimes.  Definitely a head scratcher why they can't get that figured out.

    Yes... my "billions" was perhaps an exaggeration for dramatic effect... or whatever - although I said "all their products" not just iOS devices.  Include that consideration, or replace my "billions" with "hundreds of millions" and either way I think my point still remains.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 61
    mike1 said:
    Detnator said:
    elijahg said:
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Pretty sure they're never going to do that.  Apple has never participated in the "race to the bottom" with pricing - just like they'll never release a $300 laptop or a $100 iPhone.  They're just not interested in competing in those markets - never have and I can't see that they ever will.  Steve was adamant about that in his time and Tim's kept it that way.

    They sell billions of all their products, DESPITE the prices, because they only compete in the mid to high end markets, but they do it better than the others (at least if all those buyers - and the "I want one" people - are any indication) even at the "higher" prices.  

    One of the big reasons for this is Apple's focus on experience not specs.  They bring specs to the table to deliver on the experience, but they don't just deliver specs for specs' sake or bragging rights or whatever else like most of the others.

    I agree of course, I really do hope all these new features are available in the original HomePods we all already have.
    From HomePod Mini page...

    And HomePod mini works with HomePod for multiroom audio and features like Intercom.

    Awesome.  Thanks for pointing that out.  Good to see.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 61
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,368member
    elijahg said:
    Detnator said:
    elijahg said:
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Pretty sure they're never going to do that.  Apple has never participated in the "race to the bottom" with pricing - just like they'll never release a $300 laptop or a $100 iPhone.  They're just not interested in competing in those markets - never have and I can't see that they ever will.  Steve was adamant about that in his time and Tim's kept it that way.

    They sell billions of all their products, DESPITE the prices, because they only compete in the mid to high end markets, but they do it better than the others (at least if all those buyers - and the "I want one" people - are any indication) even at the "higher" prices.  

    One of the big reasons for this is Apple's focus on experience not specs.  They bring specs to the table to deliver on the experience, but they don't just deliver specs for specs' sake or bragging rights or whatever else like most of the others.

    I agree of course, I really do hope all these new features are available in the original HomePods we all already have.
    It wouldn't really be a race to the bottom as it wouldn't be an expensive device to produce, and wouldn't be competing against the equivalent higher end smart speaker from Amazon. The point is you would be able to operate HomeKit devices from places you might not want to put a $99 speaker. My dad would never listen to music in his bedroom for example, but might want to turn off the light or a wall socket for example, and $99 is a lot to pay for a device to do so, when its main feature (decent quality music) wouldn't be used.

    A £30 device that had a basic microphone and speaker just for Siri feedback would be very useful. Doesn't need high specs because the "experience" of this device would be Siri, not music. Though if Apple is so hung up on experience, they really need to fix Siri. Also I think selling "billions of all their products" is a bit of a stretch... The total sales of all iOS devices is about a billion iirc.
    HomeKit compatible light switches cost $50 or more. A HomePod mini that will control every HomeKit device in the house for $99 is not priced out for your dad who won't use it for music.  The thing is, if it has a speaker in it, most people will want to use it for music. Your dad is not the typical use case. Apple isn't going to produce a speaker that produces adequate or inferior sound quality just because some people won't want to use it for music anyway. 
    seanjwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 61
    Siri integration still not working in Austria😂
  • Reply 19 of 61

    elijahg said:

    Detnator said:
    elijahg said:
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Pretty sure they're never going to do that.  Apple has never participated in the "race to the bottom" with pricing - just like they'll never release a $300 laptop or a $100 iPhone.  They're just not interested in competing in those markets - never have and I can't see that they ever will.  Steve was adamant about that in his time and Tim's kept it that way.

    They sell billions of all their products, DESPITE the prices, because they only compete in the mid to high end markets, but they do it better than the others (at least if all those buyers - and the "I want one" people - are any indication) even at the "higher" prices.  
    Yeah exactly. This dude doesn't get Apple. They aren't going to make a $30 echo dot.
    You said exactly the same about HomePod when people said it was too expensive. And now look where we are. You obviously don't get Apple.
    That's not a fair or accurate comment at all.  Did he say back then that they weren't going to make a $30 echo dot back or did he specifically say they weren't going to make a $100 smart speaker?  Either way I'm sure his comment was about the principle not the price, and on that he gets Apple.

    Besides which, if his comment back then was "they're not going to make a $30 echo dot" then his comment was accurate then and is accurate now.  The Echo Dot is a cheap piece of junk compared to everything Apple makes.  Your description in your other comment of what they might make for maybe $50 (a non-music centered Siri-only device) is a reasonable idea but that's not what the Echo Dot is.

    Also worth considering:  Apple almost never come out of the gate with the low-end model.  They almost always introduce a new product category with the high end, or perhaps the mid-range (and then expand to the "max" or plus versions as they also expand down). Releasing the fancy expensive HP first - for the early adopters who don't mind spending money on the fancy new tech - and then grow the range for more of the masses, is nearly always their MO. Classic example: expensive iPod -> cheaper iPod Mini -> cheaper iPod nano -> cheaper iPod shuffle.  That's what they've done here. And so this is the mini.  Perhaps a Nano is coming in another couple of years.  Quote me when it happens, I'll wager it'll still be $50 not $30 and it won't be anything like the quality-compromising Dot.

    Mind you... why it took them this many years to get this far with the HomePod range is a bit bizarre, unless there were doubts as to whether entering this market was worthwhile and so it was borderline to expand the range or kill it for a while.  I for one was borderline for a long time to get one or not.  I tried one and the sound blew me away, but it wasn't worth $350 to me, or even the $300 it later came down to.  I took it back, and only bought one (well, two actually) when Best Buy had them for $200.  It was worth that to me.  This mini definitely tips the scales, and is a great deal if the sound is any good.  I'll probably fill my house with a bunch of them now.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 61
    AppleZulu said:
    elijahg said:
    Detnator said:
    elijahg said:
    The intercom feature is great, hopefully it'll come to the existing Homepod (maxi?). The price is far better than the HomePod maxi too, so I think sales will be better than the HP. I do think Apple should have a cheap HomeKit speaker to put in each room for £30 or so, to compete with Amazon. Not really for music, but just for queries. Though this would need Siri to be less crap. For comparison, the Amazon Dot is on offer now in the UK for £19.
    Pretty sure they're never going to do that.  Apple has never participated in the "race to the bottom" with pricing - just like they'll never release a $300 laptop or a $100 iPhone.  They're just not interested in competing in those markets - never have and I can't see that they ever will.  Steve was adamant about that in his time and Tim's kept it that way.

    They sell billions of all their products, DESPITE the prices, because they only compete in the mid to high end markets, but they do it better than the others (at least if all those buyers - and the "I want one" people - are any indication) even at the "higher" prices.  

    One of the big reasons for this is Apple's focus on experience not specs.  They bring specs to the table to deliver on the experience, but they don't just deliver specs for specs' sake or bragging rights or whatever else like most of the others.

    I agree of course, I really do hope all these new features are available in the original HomePods we all already have.
    It wouldn't really be a race to the bottom as it wouldn't be an expensive device to produce, and wouldn't be competing against the equivalent higher end smart speaker from Amazon. The point is you would be able to operate HomeKit devices from places you might not want to put a $99 speaker. My dad would never listen to music in his bedroom for example, but might want to turn off the light or a wall socket for example, and $99 is a lot to pay for a device to do so, when its main feature (decent quality music) wouldn't be used.

    A £30 device that had a basic microphone and speaker just for Siri feedback would be very useful. Doesn't need high specs because the "experience" of this device would be Siri, not music. Though if Apple is so hung up on experience, they really need to fix Siri. Also I think selling "billions of all their products" is a bit of a stretch... The total sales of all iOS devices is about a billion iirc.
    HomeKit compatible light switches cost $50 or more. A HomePod mini that will control every HomeKit device in the house for $99 is not priced out for your dad who won't use it for music.  The thing is, if it has a speaker in it, most people will want to use it for music. Your dad is not the typical use case. Apple isn't going to produce a speaker that produces adequate or inferior sound quality just because some people won't want to use it for music anyway. 
    That's a good argument and probably true, although I'm cautious these days to say "Apple won't" anything as far as any specific product might go - other than my previous argument that Apple won't even try to compete in the low end and junk categories in any product range.

    People said they'd never make a cheap iPod, but then came Mini then Nano then Shuffle.  So a scaled down (again) Siri/speaker device for $50 might be in their future, though I agree Elijah's dad is not their target market. All other iDevices, and the Watch, meet Elijah's dad's need, and if you're not using those devices you're not in the Apple ecosystem with a HomeKit setup anyway.
    watto_cobra
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