Apple Cuts Price of HomePod by 50 Bucks
Early this morning, 9to5 Mac picked up a pretty hefty price cut on Apple’s HomePod. The smart speaker’s standard list price previously stood at $349 but has now fallen to $299 on apple.com and at many third party retailers. The refurbished HomePods also went down in price from $299 to $259, though both versions are currently sold out. Apple has confirmed with TechCrunch that these numbers are permanent.
While Apple is used to dominating certain categories, like smart watches for example, a study from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners conducted in August 2018 revealed the Apple HomePod only accounts for six percent of the U.S. smart speaker market. In comparison, Amazon’s Echo accounts for 70 percent of the market and Google’s Home makes up the remaining 24 percent.
Several outlets seem to believe this move was done as a way to better position Apple against Amazon and Google’s more affordable options. A $350 price tag is pretty steep, especially when most other well-received smart home speakers cost less than half of that.
And though it is pretty rare for Apple to do something like this mid-cycle, it has happened. Back in 2015, Apple TV fell from $99 to $69, and the tvOS did not debut until six months later. Nonetheless, speculation has inevitably followed HomePod’s price drop, and the rumor mill has been buzzing about a possible HomePod 2. Although plans for a second generation HomePod have been kept hush-hush, a few patents have swirled around the Internet that seem to expand the functionalities on the speaker’s top display.