Apple has never been able to make a home match in the smart speaker market. The company’s HomePod was pricey at $349 when it released in February 2018. In the end, Apple lowered the price by $50 to $299, but that still wasn’t enough for Apple to gain some traction. Finally, in November 2020, Apple released the HomePod mini, priced at $99 to compete with the smaller and cheaper models from Amazon and Google.
Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t expect Apple to make major changes to the design of a new HomePod device
Another possibility is a new version of the HomePod mini. Anyway, Kuo says not to expect much from a change in hardware design. The analyst specifically said, “There may not be much innovation in hardware design.” Kuo also says that while smart speakers are “undoubtedly one of the essential elements of the home ecosystem,” he believes Apple has yet to figure out a way to make it succeed in this market.
Genuine Apple made the mistake of building the HomePod with audio capabilities that go way beyond other smart speakers. But making a device too premium can backfire, especially when it comes to price. Apple didn’t understand who the intended buyer of smart speakers was, who found out that they were audiophiles willing to pay big bucks for high-quality sound. But according to Kuo, the company will not make the same mistake. Apple also needs to improve Siri, especially since a digital assistant is such an essential part of a smart speaker.
The original Apple HomePod was too expensive thanks to its ambitious speaker design
Right now, Siri follows both Google Assistant and Alexa when it comes to intelligence, understanding and, according to many phone enthusiasts, looks. If Apple can develop a new and improved HomePod, it will help the company create a smart speaker that would be great for the living room and other large rooms in the house. And the HomePod mini can be used in smaller rooms where the massive speaker size of the original model isn’t required.