(Cybertech) – Apple has discontinued the original HomePod, saying “we are focusing our efforts on HomePod mini”. HomePod mini was launched last year and was generally well-received aside from a few general issues with Siri.
Apple also dropped the price of the original HomePod in the US and UK last year as part of an effort to match rivals such as the Amazon Echo Studio but now it’s sounding the death knell for the device.
The original HomePod’s sound was well-received when it debuted in early 2018 but there remained several key missing features like Bluetooth support, while rivals significantly undercut it on price.
In a statement sent to Cybertech, Apple said: “HomePod mini has been a hit since its debut last fall, offering customers amazing sound, an intelligent assistant, and smart home control all for just £99. We are focusing our efforts on HomePod mini. We are discontinuing the original HomePod, it will continue to be available while supplies last through the Apple Online Store, Apple Retail Stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers. Apple will provide HomePod customers with software updates and service and support through Apple Care.”
That sounds very much like there won’t be a HomePod 2, but we wonder whether Apple will simply release a different speaker to sit above the HomePod mini at the $199/£199 price point.
There were continued rumours that the original HomePod wasn’t selling well, though in late 2018 it was estimated that HomePod had a six percent slice of the smart speaker market and had sold well over a million units in the months after launch.
The HomePod mini was long-rumoured and is available in the traditional HomePod colours of white and charcoal.
Apple also said last year it would be opening up the HomePods to rival music services such as Spotify, presumably in a move to head off competition concerns.
Corrections – [13/03/2021] Updated to reflect statement sent from Apple.
Writing by Dan Grabham.