I woke up on Saturday to read the Apple news (yes, this is what I do with my Saturday mornings) and saw via TechCrunch, that Apple is discontinuing the original HomePod.
Here’s the statement from Apple:
HomePod mini has been a hit since its debut last fall, offering customers amazing sound, an intelligent assistant, and smart home control all for just $99. We are focusing our efforts on HomePod mini. We are discontinuing the original HomePod, it will continue to be available while supplies last through the Apple Online Store, Apple Retail Stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers. Apple will provide HomePod customers with software updates and service and support through Apple Care.
I honestly couldn’t believe it – many have criticised the HomePod for its high price point, and for Siri’s unpredictable nature, but I absolutely love my HomePod, and everyone I know that owns one seems to have a similar affection for theirs.
Apple rarely discontinues a product – it’s especially rare for them to announce that they’re discontinuing a product. I can only think of AirPower in recent memory as being a product discontinuation Apple has announced – and that was a product they never actually shipped in the first place!
I’m keen to break this event into two questions: why would Apple discontinue the original HomePod? And why would Apple announce the discontinuation of HomePod?
Why announce the discontinuation?
If Apple were looking to replace the original HomePod with a newer model – for example a slightly smaller iteration on the original, an updated A-series chip, the addition of a U1 chip, more colour options, etc. then they could simply run supplies down over time and introduce the new model to much fanfare.
There would be no need to announce a discontinuation – just as they don’t announce the discontinuation of every Apple Watch or iPhone model when they introduce new versions.
The reason seems clear: the future of the HomePod “line” is the HomePod mini as far anyone can see today. Apple’s statement emphasises that their future efforts will focus on HomePod mini and nothing else.
Apple never talks about future products, but if they had exciting plans for the future of home audio, their statement doesn’t seem to tee anything up. It’s like Apple is dousing the flames of any hope that there’s a vibrant future to Apple’s home audio.
Praise for HomePod
I have thoroughly enjoyed owning a HomePod since shortly after it was announced. I have one HomePod in our kitchen – I have never tried the stereo pairing but people seem to rave about how great it sounds.
I have always been blown away by the sound quality of our HomePod in the kitchen. It’s always a talking point with guests when tunes are playing – the sound is phenomenal.
The simplicity of the device sets it apart from other speakers for me – there are no extra plugs or ports, no ugly buttons, no