Apple could offer a cheaper HomePod next year

Apple’s is expected to make a lot of product announcements this fall, and one may be give a boost to its tentative efforts in smart speakers. Bloomberg reported that the tech company is planning to release a less expensive version of its HomePod smart speaker to hit the market in 2020. The cheaper model would contain just a pair of tweeters, compared with the seven that give the HomePod its omnidirectional sound.

Apple has struggled to make noteable inroads into smart speaker sales, with Amazon and Google holding court in the sector both domestically and internationally. Although the HomePod impressed reviewers with its audio quality, sales were adversely impacted by the lack of third-party software support, mixed results with the Siri voice assistant, and a high price. Apple did cut the HomePod retail price from $350 to $299, but that’s still a lot compared with the inexpensive puck-sized smart speakers that have helped the market leaders to secure their spots.

Anna Washenko