The Cupertino-based tech giant Apple yesterday launched a smaller version of the HomePod smart speaker. The product was launched at a virtual event that took place on October 13. HomePod mini is a new hope for the company to revive its original HomePod that had impressed the audiophiles, but due to its high cost, it failed to gain the share market in the smart speaker industry.
Original HomePod was able to gain only less than 3% of the smart speaker market as of earlier this year, according to data from Voicebot. In comparision, Amazon has 53% and Google has 31% market share in the industry. The original HomePod was priced at $349 when launched in 2018, making it way more expensive than any of Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home speakers.
This new product from Apple comes at a price tag of $99 and will be available in white and space gray color options. With this price point, Apple will target new users looking for smart speakers in pocket-friendly cost. HomePod mini will face direct competition with Amazon’s Echo and Google Home.
Technically, the smart spearker looks like a sphere and is just 3.3 inches tall and has the same black and white mesh color options as the original HomePod and features an Apple S5 chip, which the company says helps the HomePod Mini bring users its “computational audio.” The company is also using the U1 chips that was announced with the previous year’s iPhones to create a better Handoff experience.
“The HomePod mini offers a great music listening experience, an intelligent assistant, and smart home capabilities, with built-in privacy and security, in a beautiful compact design” says Apple. The company has assured the support for third-party music services that include Pandora, Amazon Music, and iHeartRadio but notably, not Spotify.
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