Apple has quietly shuffled the HomePod into retirement.
After three years of production, Apple will discontinue its smart speaker that was lauded for its sound quality but criticized for a steep price tag and subpar Siri support. TechCrunch first reported the news, and obtained a statement from Apple:
HomePod mini has been a hit since its debut last fall, offering customers amazing sound, an intelligent assistant, and smart home control all for just $99. 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 Authorized Resellers. Apple will provide HomePod customers with software updates and service and support through Apple Care.
The Space Grey HomePod is already sold out in the Apple Store, but if you want a piece of discontinued gadget history, the White HomePod is still in stock at the time of publishing.
The HomePod debuted in 2018 with Techskylight calling it “phenomenal” and “the best-sound smart speaker yet,” if you were “OK with dropping $350 on a smart speaker.” The HomePod entered the battle of smart speakers late, lagging behind the 2014 release of the Amazon Echo and the 2016 debut of the Google Home. In 2019, Apple tried to make the HomePod more competitive by dropping the price from $349 to $299, but the device still failed to catch up to Amazon and Google’s smart speaker popularity.
As Apple noted in its statement, the tech giant will shift focus to the $99 HomePod mini. The mini with its eye-pleasing orb design, solid sound quality, and still subpar Siri capabilities debuted last fall.