Apple has dropped the price of its HomePod device.
For the first time, the HomePod can now be purchased from Apple’s online store and in retail outlets for $50 off of its original price, now listed for $299.
The previous $349 price has been phased out, and Apple Stores and third-party resellers and retailers are able to pass on the savings to consumers.
Apple has already been offering the device for less than its RRP via resellers. In Best Buy, for example, it has been possible to purchase the HomePod for $279 for more than six months via discounts and savings, representing $70 off of its original price.
Around the world, Apple has dropped the price of the HomePod online and in stores, with HomePod in the United Kingdom now on sale for £279, down from £319.
The discount comes at a time when the firm looks to reduce its reliance on iPhone and iPad to ensure growth and stability as we head into smartphone and tablet saturation.
Apple’s HomePod is expensive when compared with other speakers on the market, although the HomePod now accounts for 6% of the smart speaker market in the United States, according to a report released last month.
Indeed, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners suggests that there are more than 66 million smart speaker units in the United States alone and that HomePod sales accounted for 3.96 million of those since its release in January of last year. Reducing the price could help Apple shift more stock.
Amazon Echo, for example, has a 70% market share, whilst Google Home has a 24% share. Amazon and Google both offer low-cost versions of their smart speaker technology for less than $50, and Apple has reportedly been considering a “low cost” version of the HomePod to increase demand.
Reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple’s HomePod shipments were “far below market expectations” and that a low-cost version could add to the company’s market share and encourage more to upgrade to the full experience, despite its hefty price tag when compared with Echo and Home.
A new report suggests that Apple could release a low-cost HomePod between $150 and $200 in the United States, but with the HomePod now starting at $299, a $200 price tag for a ‘basic’ version seems unfeasible.
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