In a move that surprised everyone, Apple has just confirmed that its better-quality smart speaker, the HomePod, will be discontinued as soon as current stocks are exhausted.
Apple greeted us this Saturday with a totally unexpected news: it announces that it is canceling the HomePod. The first smart speaker that the company launched in June 2017, although it didn’t start selling until January 2018, will no longer be available for sale in official stores as soon as stock becomes available in stores. Apple stores will be sold out. That’s not to say it’s completely discontinued, as Apple has announced it will continue with updates. and software improvements.
HomePod, the one I want and can’t
From the start, the HomePod has been involved in the classic controversies of Apple’s launches. Sound quality beyond doubt, but an assistant with many limitations and a steep price tag, much superior to the products offered by the competition, with inferior sound quality, of course, but more functionalities at the software level. However, the Cupertino-based company upgraded its speakerphone with software updates that gave it new capabilities, albeit at a slower pace than users wanted. In fact, voice recognition is not yet available in languages other than English.
To this were added some very important limitations at the beginning that marked the entire trajectory of HomePod. Being closed to the Apple ecosystem severely limited the users who could get the most out of it. HomePod started completely closed to Apple products and services, and although over time some doors have opened, like third-party music services, once again the slowness in developing these features has ended the patience of many users who have never seen the HomePod. as a real alternative to other competitive ones. some products.
HomePod mini is Apple’s future
Apple has said it will focus on developing the HomePod mini, meaning it won’t give up on smart speakers, and that’s great news. The HomePod’s little “brother” has virtually the same functions, but it has two advantages that have made it a much more interesting product for users. The first of these is, without a doubt, its price. The sound quality and functionality of this HomePod mini is much more interesting with a price of 99 $ than with the 329 $ that the original HomePod costs.
The second advantage is that it was born with a long way to go by the original HomePod. This means that he does not carry his whole story. Despite the fact that, as I said before, their functionality is almost identical, The HomePod mini was launched with this feature already active, so it does not have the labels “mute assistant”, “limited”, “closed”… That the HomePod has been acquired a long time ago and will never get rid of it despite the improvements.
Maybe it’s better to start from scratch
The decision to remove the HomePod is surprising, but if you think about it, it may have its logic. The $ 99 HomePod mini showed there is plenty of room for Apple in the smart speaker market, just no more than 300 $. Renewing the original HomePod and starting selling it for $ 200 would be a step that many would not understand, nor would it make sense to launch a new smart speaker with similar sound quality and with better features at a lower price, keeping HomePod in place. the catalog. At this point, and after the HomePod mini has shown the HomePod’s original strategy to be wrong, it may be best to start over.
Either way, don’t set off the alarms: HomePod av will continue to have Apple support with software updates. In fact, just a few months ago, it acquired the ability to connect to Apple TV to create your home theater, which the HomePod mini cannot. HomePod will stop selling, but it still has a lot of life ahead of it, and those of us who still have many hours of music to enjoy.