apple: Apple may launch a new model of HomePod smart speaker

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So far, the smart speaker market hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Apple. Amazon with its Echo devices had established its supremacy before Apple launched its first smart speaker — the HomePod. Not only was Apple a late entrant in the market, it also perhaps got the pricing wrong. The HomePod saw a price cut two years after its launch but it was too little, too late as Apple ultimately discontinued it. Instead, Apple focused its energies on the cheaper HomePod mini.
Now, if noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is to be believed then Apple is working on launching a new model of HomePod. In a tweet, Kuo said that Apple is expected to launch a new version of HomePod either later this year or in the first quarter of 2022. Kuo, however, has said that “there may not be much innovation in hardware design.” It was rumoured that Apple was working on a HomePod with a display — bringing the functionality of the iPad and a smart speaker together. Kuo in his tweet further said that “Smart speakers are undoubtedly one of the essential elements of the home ecosystem, but I think Apple is still figuring out how to succeed in this market.”
Apple has somewhat struggled in the smart speaker market. A speaker with a display would’ve been the next possible step for Apple as Amazon offers a multitude of smart display speakers and so does Google. Kuo’s tweet does indicate that Apple might delay a smart speaker with a display. Having said that, Apple could spring a surprise but we may see a new HomePod either way as it has been a while since Apple updated its smart speaker lineup. Currently, the HomePod mini — which sells at Rs 9,990 — is the only offering from Apple in the smart speaker space.

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