While the Apple HomePod has just recently released, people are already looking forward to the next generation HomePod 2 as well as rumors of the HomePod Mini.
As we’re still a good ways out from the release of the next generation of products – especially considering the fact that the first generation launched very recently – we’re already receiving some rumors and leaks about the HomePod 2 and the HomePod Mini.
Apple didn’t see quite the sales they were hoping for with the initial shipments of the HomePod, but it’s still proven a successful addition to their product lineup. With the HomePod 2 and HomePod Mini, the company has the chance to further refine the formula and deliver a product that can better compete with offerings from the likes of Google and Amazon.
According to Taiwan’s supply chain source (via Sina), Apple is currently in talk with MediaTek in order to launch acheaperversion of the HomePod speaker in order to grab a better percentage of the market. Considering that the HomePod only sold 600,000 units in the first quarter of the year, Apple may be leaning on the HomePod 2 and HomePod Mini in order to drive sales numbers up and come closer to the numbers moved by Amazon and Google.
However, this cheaper HomePod will actually not be linked to Apple’s name – instead being branded with the Beats label. Beats has a little bit more of a reputation for audio than Apple itself does, so perhaps a Beats smart speaker will show some better sales for the company. Reports suggest that it will cost around $199 – far cheaper than the current HomePod’s price.
In addition to the Beats speaker, Apple wil release another HomePod – perhaps branded as the HomePod MIni – in order to challenge Amazon’s grasp on the smart speaker with a more affordable device. Perhaps the lower size will make the device more affordable, but we’re skeptical that it can come anywhere close to the Echo Dot considering Apple’s penchant for expensive prices.
The HomePod 2 will likely launch later than the Mini due to the fact that it will compete more directly with the HomePod itself, but we’re already seeing some rumors floating around the web regarding what we might see from the upcoming device.
HomePod 2 / HomePod Mini Rumors
It’s important to keep in mind that these rumors aren’t necessarily backed up by fact and are more musings about what Apple will include with the HomePod 2 rather than assertions backed by evidence. Still, it’s fun to imagine what we might see from the devices once they release and to speculate about whether it will end up competing on more solid ground with competitors that are currently outpacing Apple in sales.
Some expect that Apple might take steps to make the HomePod 2 water resistant. This would be a big change from the current device which is designed primarily to fill a small space, but it would allow users to take their HomePod on the go and perhaps use it at the beach or by the pool. It would certainly give the speaker something unique to offer and would make it a little bit more of an attractive buy.
Other rumors suggest that we may see a refined HomePod display that is easier to use than the current iteration that is based on the top rather than the side of the speaker. Having an easier way to control and monitor the device would certainly be a step in the right direction.
As mentioned above, there have been rumors that we’ll see the HomePod Mini released sooner rather than later as well. This more attractively priced speaker probably wouldn’t be a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo Dot , but will certainly be more accessible than the hundreds of dollars you’ll have to shell out for the full version of the HomePod
Speaking of cheaper prices, it’s also possible that the company will take steps to reduce the price of their original HomePod – perhaps bringing it more in line with products offered by competitors. Apple is both late to the game and more expensive than offerings like Amazon, so in order to capture a greater portion of the market they may have to compromise on retail price.
As far as a release date goes for these products, it’s not likely that we’ll see the HomePod 2 before next year given as the HomePod just recently launched. It’s possible that we could see a HomePod Mini or the Beats version of the HomePod sooner – perhaps sometime near the holidays – but there hasn’t been much reliable information about a solid release date.
If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that Apple isn’t going to give up on making their dream of monopolizing the smart speaker industry a reality. They likely won’t have the same sort of market share that we see from Google and Amazon, at least not for quite a while, but it’s a near certainty that Apple won’t let the lackluster sales of this first generation hold them back from improving upon their speakers moving forward.