Apple may reconsider the smart speaker segment with a brand new HomePod speaker, according to new reports by Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple stopped selling its first-generation smart speaker and instead brought the HomePod Mini at a lower price. But Kuo seems to believe that Apple could hit the market for a new larger HomePod either by the end of this year or release it in early 2023.
Apple will release a new version of the HomePod in 4Q22-1Q23, and there may not be many innovations in hardware design. Smart speakers are undoubtedly one of the most important elements of the home ecosystem, but I think Apple is still figuring out how to succeed in this market.
– 郭明 錤 (Min-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) May 20, 2022
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He also suggests that the new HomePod speaker may be offered with attenuated features and probably with different build quality to keep the price low. Given that the HomePod Mini sells for $ 99 (but 9,000 rupees in India), it’s possible that the new HomePod could be $ 100 or $ 150 more than the Mini version.
But more than hardware, Apple needs Siri to make the speaker speak. The smart home segment offers competition in the form of Google Assistant and Alexa from Amazon, both of which have evolved to deliver better results. Apple has failed to build that traction with Siri, limiting its use of the iPhone in most cases.
But the new HomePod needs a more mature Siri to become efficient, as well as justify Apple’s decision to once again dive into the high-end smart speaker segment. The new Siri is expected to be part of Apple’s device, which is expected to have a camera and screen to support FaceTime calls, among other features.
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HomePods have not usually set fire to the market, which is a rare case for Apple. And the company will hope that its fate in the smart home market will change, paving the way for more products in the segment.
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And also helps the HomeKit ecosystem evolve and become an active contender for the existing duo in the smart home industry.
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