Apple confirmed earlier today that the company has discontinued the original Apple HomePod. Although the smart speaker launched in 2018 was praised for its high-quality sound system, the hefty $439 price tag meant that the device wasn’t particularly affordable compared to other smart speakers offered by Amazon and Google.
The entire launch schedule of the smart speaker has been rather problematic for the tech giant. Although Apple introduced HomePod back in WWDC 2017, the release date was pushed back several times. The device became available in February 2018 but consumers complained about the hefty price tag. Apple addressed the criticisms by cutting down the pricing tag of HomePod to $299.
Apart from the hefty price tag, the smart speaker had its own launch problems. For instance, although HomePod had great sound system, the smart speaker lacked several features such as stereo pairing and multi-room use at the time of launch. Apple added several features in future updates but Siri didn’t live up to the expectations compared to Google Assistant or Alexa.
And now, the tech giant confirmed that the device will be discontinued after the current stock is finished. According to the statement made to TechCrunch, the company will now focus on HomePod mini.
The company said, “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.”
While HomePod mini doesn’t come with similar sound quality, the pricing and other features are close to the competitions’ offerings. As a result, it’ll be interesting to see if Apple manages to attract more customers in the coming months.