Apple will launch a cheaper HomePod in 2020, according to new reports.
As the smart speaker battle heats up and competitors such as Google and Amazon dominate, Apple finally looks set to get more aggressive with its HomePod product.
According to a breakdown from Bloomberg, Apple is on the verge of launching a cheaper HomePod as soon as next year, featuring two tweeters inside of the speaker system.
By comparison, the current “premium” smart speaker contains seven tweeters.
Earlier in the year, Apple dropped the price of the HomePod from $349 to $299 in the United States and several other markets around the world, perhaps because of weak demand for the product and its pricing compared to Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Google’s Nest Hub Max, for example, offers a tablet-esque screen, a camera for video calls with family, and the Google Assistant which is often considered superior to Siri.
That device retails for $229, the most expensive Google Home product, whilst its cheapest is the Google Home Mini, which retails for $49 but is often available for as little as $24 during aggressive promotions that mimic Amazon’s.
Amazon, on the other hand, sells the Amazon Echo Dot from $49 and a premium smart speaker, the Amazon Echo Plus, for just $149.99.
Facebook has also entered into the race with its Portal Plus, priced at $349.00.
That product offers smart video calling via Messenger with Amazon Alexa built-in.
“Connecting through Portal feels like being in the same room, even when you’re far apart. Whether you’re moving around the kitchen or chasing the kids through the living room, Portal’s Smart Camera automatically adjusts to keep everyone in view. With Alexa Built-in, you can access thousands of Alexa skills hands-free,” Facebook says of the device.
Apple will release Apple TV+ later in the year and is currently working on exclusive podcast content to compete with Spotify.
To maximize its chances of success, launching an affordable HomePod and a cheaper Apple TV device, such as a dongle or stick, would make sense, and allow the company to appease today’s price-conscious consumers.
Would you be excited about an affordable HomePod? Let us know over on Twitter and check back soon for more news and rumors on Apple, as and when we get them.