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Apple is working on a smaller and cheaper version of its HomePod smart speaker, reports Bloomberg. Originally rumored to launch in mid-to-late 2019, a HomePod mini now could be released in 2020, most likely in the second half of the year.
What Will the HomePod mini Look Like?
The HomePod mini will likely keep the same overall design as the original model.
True to its mini name, the new HomePod will be smaller, about half the size, of the existing model.
People familiar with the development of the device told Bloomberg that Apple has been working diligently on the latest model for the past several months, even allowing testing from home.
The company, unfortunately, encountered delays during development and is now planning to release the device later this year.
Lower Price Tag
When it does debut, Apple likely will drop the price tag on the device to make it more competitive with smart speakers from Amazon and Google.
One of the biggest complaints about the speaker is its expensive price tag. While competitors are selling their speakers for $100 or less, Apple is asking $300 for the HomePod.
New Music and More
Apple also is eyeing ways of making the device more attractive to customers by adding desirable features such as new music app compatibility, sources familiar with the device told Bloomberg. The HomePod is praised for its outstanding sound quality, but the device is not compatible with as many third-party services as competing speakers.
The company may also be improving Siri and its smart home functionality with strategic acquisitions and hires. These business maneuvers will improve performance across Apple’s lineup of devices.
Announced in 2017 and available in early 2018, Apple’s HomePod has not been as successful as the company hoped. Sales have been slow as units sit on retailers’ shelves for six months or more.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]