Apple’s HomePod was praised for its sound quality, but the pricey Siri-powered smart speaker has failed to keep up with offerings from Amazon, Google and Sonos, among others. Its initial $349 price didn’t do it any favors; neither did Siri’s limited functionality compared to Alexa or Google Assistant.
Help may be on the way. After not updating the physical HomePod since its release in early 2018, Bloomberg reports that Apple is working on a cheaper HomePod for “as early as next year.”
The report says that the cheaper speaker will “likely to have two tweeters (a type of loudspeaker), down from seven in the current HomePod.” It is unclear if this will be a so-called “HomePod Mini” to rival Amazon’s Echo Dot or Google’s Home Mini.
How much lower the price will go to is also unknown. While it was originally launched at $349, earlier this year t. Today it can be found for even cheaper than that, with B&H currently selling it for $269.95.
Apple did not immediately respond to a CNET request for comment.