The likelihood that Apple will offer a new iteration of the full-size HomePod, which was introduced in 2018 and retired in 2021, is growing. According to recent reports, Apple will replace its first smart speaker, the HomePod, with an updated model the following year.
How much would you pay for a new HomePod considering that the original is still available from aftermarket vendors at a premium?
A new HomePod may be coming
The pricing of the full-size HomePod, which began at $349 before dropping to $299 a year after its debut, was one of the main criticisms of the device. Apple almost never lowers the price of a product while it is still being sold, which may indicate how poorly sales performed in comparison to early expectations.
However, as I said a short while ago, hindsight is always 20/20, and it’s beginning to seem as though we (and Apple?) may have taken the initial HomePod for granted. The absence of a full-size HomePod with excellent sound quality is a glaring gap in Apple’s range, especially given the $99 price of the HomePod small.
The HomePod has actually been selling on eBay for its $299 retail price and even more in certain cases. It’s evident that some fans are prepared to spend money on a new HomePod even if the technology is more than three years old as some of the initial devices begin to have hardware issues.
9to5Mac was the first to spot code references to an unreleased HomePod when Apple originally made the first beta of iOS 16 available earlier this month. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will probably introduce a new HomePod model in late 2022 or early 2023.
Then, over the weekend, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman revealed further information on what to anticipate from a future HomePod model:
“The HomePod, code-named B620, will use the same S8 chip going into the watches and will resemble the original HomePod more than a new HomePod tiny in terms of size and audio quality. The top display of the next HomePod will be improved, and multi-touch capabilities have also been mentioned.”
According to Gurman, it’s doubtful that the updated HomePod will be ready for shipping by the end of the year. This is consistent with Kuo’s forecast that it would appear in the first half of 2023.
New HomePod Price (Rumored)
The price of the new HomePod remains unknown, despite the fact that it will be “similar to the old HomePod in terms of size and audio performance instead of a new HomePod tiny.”
The $349 price tag on the first HomePod was obviously higher than what the majority of customers were prepared to spend. The improved display on top of the new HomePod, according to Gurman, “will include multi-touch capabilities on top.”
I sincerely hope that the HomePod’s price won’t increase as a result of adding a new display with multi-touch capabilities to the top. The last thing I want is for Apple to over-engineer a new HomePod model compared to the original.
In fact, I’d be overjoyed if Apple essentially sold the original HomePod again, this time with an updated S8 processor for better performance with Siri, AirPlay, and HomeKit. I don’t even remotely find the concept of a multi-touch display on top appealing. I seldom ever use the HomePod or HomePod mini’s top-mounted display. To play or pause, all I have to do is tap.
Apple’s first HomePod didn’t sell as well as it had intended. I’m hoping that four years later the company has learned from its mistakes and understands what consumers want from a high-end HomePod: superior sound quality with dependable software and home automation integration.
There is space available in the HomePod lineup for a much more ambitious product, like the connected TV box with a built-in HomePod speaker as well as a FaceTime camera that was previously reported. It’s not necessary for the new “HomePod” to be this thing.
In a perfect world, the new HomePod that will be released in 2023 will have an S8 chip inside and cost $249 or $299. We’ll have to wait and see if this is the approach Apple intends to take.
What price range would you be willing to accept for a new full-sized HomePod model? Tell us in the comments section.