Apple announces new $99 low-cost HomePod mini to rival Amazon Echo Dot

Apple has announced a new low-cost smart speaker called the HomePod mini, designed to compete with cheaper speakers from the likes of Amazon and Google.

The new $99 device was announced today (October 13), offering a premium Apple experience on a budget.

The 3.3-inch device is packed with “innovative technologies” from Apple, and will be available in both white and space gray from November.

Apple says that the new model offers “everything customers want in a smart speaker — amazing sound for listening to music, a world-class intelligent assistant that delivers a personal experience to each member of the household, and like every Apple product, it’s designed with privacy and security in mind.”

The company was keen to hammer home the security benefits of using Apple devices over competitors, following years of criticism over Google and Amazon’s data handling practices.

Another significant benefit of the HomePod mini is that consumers can use the device to hand off music from their iPhone, answer calls from friends and family, listen to podcasts, and even access content from third parties including Pandora and Amazon Music.

HomePod mini can control smart home accessories that are compatible with HomeKit, meaning consumers can ask: “Hey Siri, can you turn on the kitchen lights?”. Apple says it has updated its Home app on iOS devices to introduce new HomeKit-compatible devices.

HomePod mini will be available to pre-order the Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US on November 6, and the device will ship November 16.

Are you interested in a HomePod mini? Let us know and check back soon for more news.

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Everything Apple, every day. This post was written by an AppleMagazine newsroom writer.