HomePod mini on the way this year, but don’t expect HomePod 2

Apple debuts HomePod in India at its cheapest price yet
Are you excited at the prospect of a new HomePod?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple will introduce a HomePod mini in 2020, but don’t get your hopes up about a sequel to the original HomePod smart speaker, claims Apple leaker L0vetodream.

The reliable Apple leaker made the claim on Twitter, ahead of Apple’s newly announced October 13 live event, at which Apple will likely unveil its last new hardware products of the year.

A new HomePod… just not a big one

A HomePod mini is a device I’ve wanted Apple to make since the original HomePod sprung onto shelves. The HomePod, with its high end audio, is great but it’s considerably more expensive than the under-$50 Echo Dot and Google Home Mini. For a lot of people, those cheaper smart speakers are the entry point into the smart speaker market, and make up the majority of the sales. The question is how cheap Apple will be willing to go, while still offering a high end audio experience (if that is, indeed, the plan.)

Given that Apple hasn’t updated the HomePod since 2017, it seems that it’s not one of the big markets Apple is keen to foster. (Perhaps because a lot of smart speaker functionality, outside playing music, can be done on other Apple devices.) But this is still something a lot of people could be keen on, essentially following the model laid out by the iPhone SE and Apple Watch SE. HomePod SE, anyone?

There haven’t been rumors I’ve heard of a sequel to the HomePod. The lack of a full-size HomePod 2 at Apple’s event next week therefore isn’t too surprising. Apple has never released sales figures for the HomePod. However, reports suggest that it remains a bit-player in the market, while (rare for Apple) price reductions suggest that the marketplace performance may not be quite what Apple hoped for.

Are you a HomePod fan? What are your hopes for the next generation of Apple smart speaker? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below

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