Apple has discontinued its original HomePod after four years. It says that it will continue to produce and focus on the HomePod mini, introduced last year.
Here’s what the tech press has to say
Matthew Panzarino Tech Cruch was first to report:
The original Apple HomePod was a feat of audio engineering that Apple spent over five years developing. In order to accomplish its development, the team at Apple built out a full development center near its headquarters in Cupertino, with a world-class development environment with a dozen anechoic chambers, including one of the bigger anechoic chambers outside of academic use in the US. I visited the center before its release, noting that Apple took it the extra mile to get the incredibly complex series of tweeters and woofer that built its soundspace.
I found it to be one of the best speakers ever made for the home when I reviewed it in 2018. From the booming base and well-shaped nature of the tweeter assembly inside; the cloth cover that was specially shaped to avoid interfering with sound quality in any way; the way that it sensed the way that audio was being shaped by walls and other obstructions and adjusted its output to compensate. It was the definition of ‘no effort spared’ in the speaker department.
Jay Peters The Verge rings in
The full-size HomePod had great sound quality, but it was criticized for its high $349 price tag at launch. Apple eventually dropped the price to $299 in April 2019, and came out with the $99 HomePod mini last year. The move isn’t altogether surprising; sales of the HomePod have reportedly been low, and in our review, we felt that the HomePod mini offered good sound for its size.
Parker Ortolani 9to5 Mac goes into a fit of speculation
With the discontinuation of the original HomePod on Friday, everyone is wondering what’s next for the HomePod family? Apple plans to now focus on the single $99 HomePod mini. It hits a sweet spot, being affordable and reasonably sized for any space. Apple might still have a larger- or medium-sized HomePod in the works, but I think the answer lies in portability and displays.An obvious next step for HomePod is on-the-go listening. Apple currently offers the Beats Pill+ as a bluetooth speaker solution. I think it might be time to cannibalize that product with a portable HomePod that can compete with the newest products from Sonos.
I racked my brain looking for the right name for a portable HomePod. In fact, HomePod in and of itself is kind of an oxymoron for a portable product. But if Apple were to make a HomePod you can take with you, it would also have to work at home connected via lightning or USB-C.