New Reports of a Sub $200 HomePod Model for Late 2018

MacRumors has a story today via websites in Japan (MacOtakara) and Taiwan (Economic Daily News) that Apple is planning to release a $150-$200 HomePod in 2018. The article states:

HomePod for $150 to $200: Today’s report cites industry sources who expect a more affordable HomePod to launch in the second half of 2018. It’s hard to decipher details from the loosely translated report, but Mac Otakara‘s coverage seems to suggest it will be a smaller speaker.

Following the Smart Speaker Playbook…Sort of

If Apple does introduce a lower-priced HomePod variant later in 2018 it will be following a similar strategy to both Amazon and Google. Amazon first introduced the Echo at $179 and then the Echo Dot arrived about a year and a half later at $49. Google Home was introduced at $129 and was followed 11 months later by the $49 Mini. Apple’s HomePod is different because it focuses on sound quality and the premium segment with a price of $349. And, introducing even a $150 product will be a steep discount to the HomePod but significantly higher than Amazon’s and Google’s mainstream products.

However, this strategy would help expand the market of potential buyers given that it will be about half the cost. Voicebot’s Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report found that 2.6% of non-smart speaker owners were planning on buying an Apple HomePod. That is well below Apple’s 35% smartphone market share in the U.S. Offering a lower priced product may entice more Apple iPhone owners to give HomePod a try.

Google to Be Smart Speaker Market Share Leader in 2022, HomePod to Pass 20 Million Units

New Voicebot Report Says Nearly 20% of U.S. Adults Have Smart Speakers