Seems to be a Tim Cook cost-cutting relaunch. Still, the cord is fixed to the HomePod instead of being able to detach it.Still, it has no battery. Still, Siri does not work with Spotify. And still, the top Siri controls are awkward.
Okay. Now Apple needs a BassPod subwoofer and the ability to tie it and and a few HomePods and HomePod minis into a true Spatial Audio network that supports Atmos.THAT would rock.
Reissue a product that failed in the market years ago, remove 1/3 of the speakers, keep the price, make it incompatible with the previous version, use a 8 year old CPU, downgrade network to a 14 year old standard, keep Bluetooth 5.0, and launch after Christmas. Why?
And battery? It’s collide not ParkPod. Why would you need a battery (and to recharge it) when you are at home?
And Spotify? It seems that Spotify has to make it possible, because Apple already provided this opportunity.
Still using Windows PC?
2. No it isn’t.
3. That’s right, no battery. Yeah, let’s add 5-8 pounds to each speaker! Good idea! Oh wait it’s a terrible idea. Consider a Sonos Go, which is a battery-powered high-quality portable speaker that is compatible with AirPlay 2 (and not the only such thing on the market, either).
4. It works just fine with Spotify (et al) via AirPlay. So do the OG HomePods. So do the HomePods mini.
5. Opinion, not fact.
As to pricing, inflation. There are things at the grocery store that are easily triple what they were 3-4 years ago and most have doubled. The CPU is not 8 years old - not sure where you got that. The networking relates to the need of the device. The latest networking HW likely costs significantly more and would not improve sound quality a bit.
The compatibility “issue” is a non starter. This is Apple, they were the first to abandon the legacy ports for USB and later to drop Ethernet jacks, FireWire and optical drives from laptops. If you want to run old stuff forever you might want to buy elsewhere.
As to after Christmas, a fair guess would be supply issues from China. If you follow business news you would know that there have been significant and ongoing disruptions to manufacturing in China all of 2022.