Apple is reportedly discontinuing its original HomePod smart speaker as the company pivots focus to the HomePod mini, its smaller and more affordable baby brother.
TechCrunch reported confirmation from Apple on Friday that it’s shelving the HomePod just a few short years after its initial launch. Reviews weren’t kind when Apple’s voice-controlled smart speaker first hit shelves in 2018. Critics argued its admittedly high-quality sound wasn’t worth the hassle of dealing with Apple’s walled garden and its steep $469 price tag, which is much more expensive than Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Nest line of smart speakers. As if that wasn’t enough, the HomePod also had a bizarre tendency to stain people’s furniture. Apple lowered the price to $380-ish a year later, but that apparently wasn’t enough to save it seeing as Apple’s now putting the HomePod out to pasture.
The HomePod Mini, on the other hand, received a much warmer reception. This tinier version of Apple’s first-generation smart speaker launched in November with a $149 price tag — still more expensive than its diminutive competitors, the Echo Dot or Nest Mini, but on par with Amazon and Google’s mid-tier options. At the time, we called the HomePod Mini “a solid little speaker” and “the perfect complementary device” for folks embracing the Apple smart home ecosystem.
If you currently own an OG HomePod, don’t worry: Apple confirmed software updates and tech support will continue for those already on the market. Existing units will also remain available “while supplies last,” though the Space Grey option already appears to be sold out on Apple’s website.
You can read Apple’s statement in full below:
HomePod mini has been a hit since its debut last [spring], offering customers amazing sound, an intelligent assistant, and smart home control all for just $149. We are focusing our efforts on HomePod mini. We are discontinuing the original HomePod, it will continue to be available while supplies last through the Apple Online Store, Apple Retail Stores, and Apple Authorised Resellers. Apple will provide HomePod customers with software updates and service and support through Apple Care.
The original HomePod isn’t the only product en route to Apple’s graveyard this month. Last week, Apple announced it’s discontinuing the iMac Pro, its $6,500 workstation, after just four years on the market.