August 12, 2022

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Report: Apple revives the high-end HomePod smart speaker

Report: Apple revives the high-end HomePod smart speaker

Zoom / The discontinued HomePod smart speaker from Apple.

Jeff Dunn

After officially Kill HomePod Last year, Apple would soon release a new version of the smart speaker, Bloomberg Mark Gorman reported in a newsletter on Sunday.

The report detailed the predictions without citing sources and said the speaker is “unlikely to arrive until 2023. The new HomePod is currently in development under the codename B620. It is said to use a new S8 processor that will also be used in the upcoming Apple Watch,” Gorman said. The new S8 “will have the same specifications as the S7, which was also the same as the S6”.

Bloomberg’s newsletter also stated that the new HomePod “will be closer to the original HomePod in terms of size and audio performance, rather than the new HomePod Mini.”

“The new HomePod will have an updated screen on top, and there’s been some talk of multi-touch functionality,” Gorman said.

Apple originally started selling HomePod in 2018 for $350 But it decided in March 2021 to discontinue the product and focus on More affordable HomePod Mini.

“The HomePod Mini has been a huge success since its debut last fall, providing customers with incredible audio, a smart assistant and smart home control, all for just $99. We’re focusing our efforts on the HomePod Mini,” Apple said. Take Crunch in time.

It’s unclear why Apple brought back the HomePod after officially announcing it was discontinued (Apple was still providing software updates and support). Given its high price tag, Apple’s Siri-led high-end smart speaker has been difficult to compete with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Nest, despite offering superior sound quality. HomePod has also struggled to compete with Sonos offerings, which work better with many platforms.

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However, the HomePod took years to develop, and it arrived with cutting edge features such as the ability to use machine learning to enhance sound quality, based on the location of the speaker and the number of speakers in the room.

And since its discontinuation, there have been some holes in Apple’s speaker lineup that the HomePod Mini just can’t fill. For example, HomePod Mini does not support Dolby Atmos 5.1 or 7.1 virtual surround sound for Camel Home theater equipment.

The HomePod Mini also has less impressive sound quality, which is understandable given that it’s a fraction of the price of the original HomePod.

For Apple fans who crave something more advanced than the HomePod Mini, the HomePod revival is an exciting prospect. If Apple brings the speaker back, it will hopefully add more flexibility, such as Bluetooth streaming, better integration with Android and other Apple services, stronger voice assistant capabilities, and perhaps even a lower price tag. If Apple can offer these kinds of updates, there is hope that the HomePod can find a more permanent home in the smart speaker market than its predecessor.