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Apple HomePod 2: cheaper smart speaker lined up for 2023
The rumored HomePod 2 will probably be cheaper, but may not see many other changes
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: HomePod 2, is that you?
🔊 Apple’s HomePod 2 smart speaker could launch ‘this year’
💰 Best part? It could be cheaper than the first HomePod
⚙️ Specs are said to include updated internals and touch surface
🤷 No major physical changes are expected to the HomePod 2
📣 January announcement historically, but there are no signs it’s coming
The fabled HomePod 2 may actually be seen – and heard – in 2023, finally giving us a follow-up to Apple’s first large smart speaker that launched four years ago.
Let’s start with the best part: the new HomePod price may be lower this time around, according to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg. Without getting specific, he said that the 2023 HomePod will be cheaper than the last model’s $349 ask.
A cheaper HomePod 2 could help the Apple speaker compete in a space where it’s already massively undercut by comparable offerings from others, like Amazon’s $199 Echo Studio. The 2018 HomePod, even after a price drop to $249 in April 2019, was discontinued in March 2021, reportedly because of poor sales.
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HomePod 2: not far from home
Just don’t go read into this Apple HomePod 2 news expecting a markedly different-looking speaker. The assumption that it’ll look like the first HomePod falls in line with a May 2022 prediction by longtime Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said then that the new model would come in either the last financial quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, with few changes.
Like the first version of the premium Siri speaker, this new HomePod is expected to have the same chip that powers the Apple Watch – specifically, the S8 chip found in the Apple Watch Ultra and Series 8 models. Gurman says it’ll also get an updated touch panel, but it doesn’t sound like it’ll be the touch screen that’s been rumored in the past.
HomePod 2 this week?
Given today’s announcement of the MacBook Pro 14 and 16-inch 2023 laptops, could we see the announcement this week? It’s possible – the original HomePod first went on sale in January 2018, and with the expectation of an Apple VR/AR headset reveal this Spring (ripe to compete with all of the Sony PSVR 2 review coverage), the company may not want to overshadow its new speaker by including it in its rumored Spring 2023 event. Then again, there’s been no indication the company is planning an imminent announcement for the 2023 HomePod 2, so I wouldn’t hold my breath.