Apple may be preparing to launch a new, smaller, and lower-priced HomePod smart speaker, and there are increasing signs that the new model may arrive by the end of the year.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has pointed out that Apple employees can now buy up to 10 HomePods at a 50 percent discount, a significant increase over the two-unit limit.
This could indicate that Apple wants to release inventory from the current HomePod before launching the new model.
Added to all this is that the HomePod appeared as “sold out” in Apple’s online store in the United States last week, although this did not last long.
In recent years, Apple has been improving the HomePod by adding new features like Handoff support, multi-user voice detection, and more.
At its launch in 2018, the HomePod cost $ 349, but Apple reduced the price of the speaker to $ 299 in April 2019. Apple has never disclosed HomePod sales.
Although the HomePod is positioned as a speaker with great sound quality, there are several lower-priced competitors such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home that can be interesting alternatives for users who cannot spend as much money.
A smaller and, above all, cheaper HomePod could encourage more people to get hold of the Apple speaker.