Apple may release a $199 HomePod model with Beats branding

According to an anonymous source from Apple’s Taiwan supply chain, a cheaper version of the HomePod is in the pipeline and it may carry the Beats branding.

Priced at $349 at launch, the HomePod was not exactly a running success for Apple. It sold a respectable 600,000 units during the first quarter of 2018, but this is still not terribly impressive in a market where Alexa and Google Assistant smart speakers are selling by the dozen for as low as $49.
Rumors of a more affordable version of the HomePod have been circulating …


No Echo here: Apple reportedly cut orders for its HomePod smart speaker last month

Not every product Apple rolls out is a big winner. Whether it is the price or the fact that Apple came to the category late, the company’s HomePod smart speaker is not selling like Apple thought it would. According to someone familiar with the matter, in late March Apple cut its forecast of HomePod sales for the year, and reduced its orders for the device from contract manufacturer Inventec. Keep in mind that this took place less than two months after Apple finally started shipping the device. Originally expected to launch in December, Apple pushed back the release to February of this year.

During …

Will Apple launch a budget version of the HomePod?

Apple joined the game of speakers just a month ago with its HomePod. It was different from most other smart speakers as it brought superior sound quality, but was not as smart due to the limitations of its built-in smart assistant – Siri. The HomePod also came with a pretty serious price tag of 349 bucks, making it one of the most expensive smart speakers on the market. However, Apple may be planning to release a less-expensive version of its tubular audio goodness later in 2018.

The new HomePod model might be priced between $150 and $200. For the lower price we might get …

The new HomePod ad features music, dancing, and space-time bending

Ads can be quite the art. Apple has proved this not once and does it yet again with its most recent ad, which shows how easily you can be immersed in music. That’s in case you own the HomePod, of course.
The ad shows a young woman, played by English singer and dancer FKA Twigs, coming home on a rainy night. The moment she steps inside her loft, she asks Siri to play her favorite song. What then follows is a 3-minute spectacle including dancing and apartment extensions, while playing in the background is ‘Til It’s Over’ by Anderson .Paak. …

The HomePod digs into the smart speaker market, as Tim Cook dubs it the first 'modern' one

From the folks that brought us endless fun comparing Apple’s new HomePod smarts to the Amazon Echo and Google Home, now comes a more scientific research which follows the market share that said HomePod managed to carve out after its launch on February 9th.
It turns out that Apple’s smart $349 speaker already has 3% of the growing market just two weeks after launch. Given that Google and Amazon are saturating the industry with 50-buck speakers, and even less on promotion, this is no small feat.
As to what people are using their smart speakers most for, that’s music, unsurprisingly, followed …

Apple could avoid the Homepod 'white ring' issue, design experts say

Image credit: Trevor Daugherty

Apple jumped right into the smart speakers market with the release of the HomePod – the tubular-shaped dream of every audiophile – which came with a hefty $349 price tag, but brought an exceptionally good sound quality. The HomePod, however, came with a “feature” Apple had forgot to mention – the smart speaker had the habit of leaving white circles if it was placed on a wooden surface.

The issue has been reported many times in the past few weeks, although …

Apple's gross margin on HomePod sales lags behind its rivals' figures

According to a report published by Bloomberg on Wednesday, Apple’s HomePod smart speaker is providing Apple with a 38% gross margin with its price of $349.  Analysts at TechInsights say that Apple is spending $216 to produce each HomePod unit and is making $133 in gross profit on each sale. That means that Apple’s gross margin lags behind rivals Amazon and Google, producers of the Echo and Home line of smart speakers, respectively.

Amazon, which created the smart speaker category with the first widespread rollout of the Amazon Echo in 2015, has a 56% gross margin on its Echo devices. …

Apple video tutorial shows you how to get the most from HomePod

One week ago today, Apple finally launched its HomePod smart speaker. Originally scheduled for a December release, Apple delayed the launch because it felt that the device was not ready for prime time. The tech titan put a lot of effort into the speaker, stuffing it with seven tweeters, and a woofer. The HomePod figures out the shape of the room it is stationed in, and adjusts the sound so that it doesn’t overwhelm the listener.

For those who are unaware what they can do with the HomePod, and how to use it, Apple has released a series of video tutorials. Last week, three videos showed …

Poll results: HomePod gets little love, but supporting Spotify might fix that

The Apple HomePod is out and reviewers and early adopters are all enjoying its spatially-calibrated audio. It’s an impressive piece of hardware for sure, but it suffers from a couple of limitations. It’s no surprise that Apple released a product that is locked to its ecosystem — HomePod can only stream music from Apple Music. But the point is driven further by the fact that there’s no aux jack and you can’t connect to it via Bluetooth. You only get to send audio to it via Apple’s AirPlay.

With its omnidirectional audio and deep bass, the HomePod is great on sound, but the fact that it is …

Apple: put your HomePod 'on a different surface' if it leaves wood marks

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time…— Andy Slater (@Grossberger101) February 15, 2018
The new Siri-powered HomePod smart speaker has been leaving ring marks on people’s wooden surfaces, it seems, and it might be par for the course, says Apple. Some of the people who got the HomePod, noticed it leaves lighter circles where it lies. It turns out that these might be the oils or wax on certain wooden materials getting diffused by the silicon base that is absorbing the thumping sounds emanating from the speaker. Say what? Yes, it’s a thing, and it is in …