It’s no secret that Apple’s HomePod isn’t exactly a runaway hit. Despite strong reviews praising the device’s incredible sound quality, consumers in recent months have gravitated more towards rival offerings from the likes of Amazon and Google. In fact, a recent report from Strategy Analytics reveals that Apple’s smart speaker during the recent March quarter only accounted for a paltry 6% of the global smart speaker market. In stark contrast, Amazon’s Echo devices garnered an impressive 81.8% share.
The lack of HomePod sales momentum can likely be attributed to two factors. One, Siri on the HomePod is laughably deficient compared to intelligent assistants from Amazon and Google. Moreover, Siri functionality on the HomePod is limited even compared to Siri on the iPhone. Siri squabbles aside, there’s no getting around the fact that the HomePod is simply far more expensive than rival devices. As a prime example, Apple’s HomePod retails for $349 while Google Home can be purchased for as little as $130.
In an effort to boost HomePod sales, there have been rumblings regarding Apple’s interest in rolling out a more affordable version of its smart speaker, with some outlets claiming that we might see a new device priced in the $150 range. In light of that, a new rumor from Loveios claims that a cheaper version of the HomePod is on the way but that it might cost a bit more than $150.
The rumor in question here originated from supply chain sources in Taiwan, which is why you might want to take this all with a big grain of salt. That qualification notwithstanding, the report relays that Apple’s more affordable smart speaker will be priced at $199. More interesting, though, is the assertion that the cheaper iteration of the HomePod will be sold under the Beats umbrella.