Apple HomePod 2
Looking for information on the HomePod 2? Hoping Apple will release the HomePod mini. Well in this article, we dissect the clues and rumours relating to the HomePod 2 and also the next version of the HomePod software that will enhance existing devices.
Analyst estimates from last autumn suggested Apple just had a six per cent slice of the smart speaker market. This may have improved with the recent price drop of the HomePod, but they are still way behind in the smart speaker race.
Apple HomePod 2 release rumour details
- What is it?: The new Apple HomePod smart speaker could either be the HomePod 2 or the rumoured HomePod Mini.
- When is it out?: With no mention at Apple’s March event, a 2019 release date is still on the cards with WWDC or the September iPhone event.
- What will it cost?: No pricing just yet but, if it is a smaller version, it’s likely to be cheaper than the current HomePod
Apple HomePod 2 release date
There isn’t really any kind of historical pattern when it comes to previous releases for HomePod. But the original Apple smart speaker was released in February 2018, so a release in 2019 is likely.
We’re also not yet certain whether the new HomePod will be the same size. Which could mean a HomePod Mini is on the cards. So Apple could release cheaper and smaller HomePod 2 and this could help its market share.
Samsung has its own smart speaker on the way in the form of the Galaxy Home. Apple might want to release the HomePod 2 or HomePod mini in middle of 2019.
HomePod 2 features
In March 2018, there was a report from Economic Daily that Apple was planning to release a more affordable HomePod at some point in 2018. While this didn’t happen, various other sources have suggested a cheaper HomePod could arrive with new features.
So, whatever arrives, whether it’s a HomePod 2 or a HomePod mini, or indeed both. Let’s get into the details of what is known so far about the future Apple smart speaker.
The current HomePod is tied to an individual iCloud account. the HomePod setup even warns you that others could access your own Siri information using their voice such as sending and receiving texts.
It would be great if the future HomePod 2 could be set up to work with multiple users both for Siri and personal services such as calls and texts.
HomePod open to other music services
If you buy one of the current Apple HomePod speakers, you’re essentially locking yourself into Apple’s audio ecosystem. You have to use either music content tied to the Apple ID within iTunes or Apple Music.
That’s fine if Apple Music if you are Apple Music subscriber. But, if you are already a Spotify or Google Play Music subscriber, then you are out of Lock. Of course, you can stream via AirPlay 2, but it would be great to get third-party music support on HomePod.
A lower price point
The problem is currently, smart speaker sales are being powered by the quantity and Apple does not appear to be winning that game. While Apple does not have a tendency to launch new generations of products at a lower price point, they could do that smaller device.
Regardless, Apple needs to address its pricing and to shift more volume of its smart speaker. It will either after to lower the price of the HomePod 2, or a cheaper HomePod mini is the answer.
Apple HomePod Mini
The HomePod has sold that well, but Apple could launch a sensibly priced (not necessarily cheap) HomePod would do pretty well. This would help address the market share and push up the subscribers for its services business.
Google has done it with the Home Mini and Amazon with the Echo Dot. So what about the HomePod Mini? Apple could keep it a premium with a price tag of $149/£149, but start getting close to Amazon and Google.
One of the more recent rumours around a new HomePod came from a Chinese tech firm called Sina. The claim is that Apple is working on a Beats-branded HomePod and this could be the HomePod Mini
We haven’t seen a great deal of Beats-branded releases since Apple purchased the company in 2014. So this might be a chance for Apple to use the name to target a younger audience with a lower price point.
HomePod 2: Price
The HomePod was £319/$349 but in April 2019 was reduced to £279/$299. While the recent price drop could indicate the HomePod 2 is around the corner, I think its more down to low sales.
Ordinarily, Apple products retail for roughly the same or if not more. But if we are to believe the rumour mill, we could see a significantly cheaper HomePod in 2019.
We would like to see a range of HomePods launch with prices as follows:
- HomePod mini £149/$149
- HomePod 2 £279/$299
Given that Apple has released multiple versions of a product in the past, then its a real possibility we could see 2 versions of the HomePod 2 in 2019.
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