Apple yesterday revealed that its next event, at which it will unveil the iPhone 12, will take place on October 13. As well as the new iPhones, there are a number of other possible product announcements, with speculation spanning a HomePod mini, a full-size HomePod 2, AirPods Studio headphones, AirTag tracker tiles, and a new Apple TV and Siri remote.
On the HomePod front, a reliable leaker has tweeted a yes to a HomePod mini, and a no to an updated version of the full-size speaker …
Leaker @L0vetodream sometimes posts cryptically, but there is no interpretation required for this tweet.
there is no HomePod2 this year
only have mini one
His or her track record includes the Big Sur name, 2020 iPhone SE features, release date of the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, the blue color option for the Apple Watch Series 6 – and a range of macOS 11, iOS 14 and watchOS 7 features.
Although Apple doesn’t reveal unit sales for the HomePod, the consensus view is that the company was disappointed with sales. Apple officially reduced the price from $349 to $299 last year after many third-party retailers had been offering it at the lower price for some time, suggesting the Cupertino company was reducing the wholesale price.
There’s been no word yet on what to expect from a HomePod mini in terms of either size or price. Speculation has spanned everywhere from a somewhat smaller unit at a $199 price point, to something perhaps half the size and power of the existing model, with a price closer to $149.
Part of the challenge for Apple has been the availability of much cheaper and nominally smarter smart speakers, like Amazon’s Echo range. While these don’t come close to matching the audio performance of the HomePod, many have simply seen ‘smart speaker’ and the price, and written off Apple’s offering as over-priced on that basis.
Another possible announcement at next week’s event is an update on Apple Silicon Macs, but my money would be on the company saving this for a separate event later in the year – which I consider a better approach.