Apple on Friday said that it is discontinuing the original HomePod smart speaker and will instead focus on the smaller, more affordable and newer HomePod mini.
The original HomePod was launched in 2018 but never quite grabbed the mass market the way competing products like the Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speakers did. While the HomePod has been lauded for its high-quality sound, it also launched at $349, which was much more expensive than the Echo or Google Home it was competing with. Apple lowered the price to $300 a year later.
The HomePod mini launched last November and, at $99, is among the best-sounding speakers of its size. That’s the model Apple says it will continue to sell.
“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,” an Apple spokesperson told CNBC on Friday. “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.”
The news was first reported by TechCrunch.