This is part of the story, Complete coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.
Apple today unveiled a brand HomePod mini smart speaker, giving it a new piece of hardware to pit against Amazon, Google and others to bring voice control to our homes. Powered by Apple’s Siri voice assistant, HomePod is smaller than Mini.
Is also expected to launch with GoogleThis holiday season, Apple’s new speaker aims to get consumers to consider the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa-based options that currently dominate the segment. The sphere-like device has a familiar reticulated cover, with a tactile surface that controls its flat top for volume, play and pause.
The device costs $ 99 and can be ordered on November 6. It will start shipping from 16 November. The low price distinguishes it from the original HomePod, which costs $ 299 (though it can often be discounted to $ 199). Amazon and Google have smart speakers in that elevated price range, but most of their market shares come from speakers in the $ 50 price range. This high price is one of the factors that has limited sales for the HomePod, making it difficult for Apple to gain a foothold for Siri as a domestic voice assistant.
To justify the high price of the original HomePod, Apple introduced it as a high-end shelf speaker. The first HomePod largely fulfilled that promise, but that situation also helped Siri as a better voice assistant, next to the improved Alexa and Google Assistant.
For the HomePod Mini, Apple says that it has added a seamless user experience with the same excellent sound quality as in the original HomePod. Additionally, the device’s privacy features will reflect the route. This tool will not tie your requests and conversations with Siri to your Apple ID, provide a form of anonymity, and the data will be encrypted.
The device will also work with external music streaming services including Pandora and Amazon in the coming months. This integration distinguishes the HomePod Mini from the original HomePod, which was limited to Apple Music for streaming. Nevertheless, the HomePod Mini is clearly intended to work with Apple products and services, and connects speakers to apps running on iPhones. The goal is for users to ask Siri a speaker asking simple questions to Siri, said Yale Garten, Apple’s director of science and engineering for Siri.
“What really sets HomePod Mini apart is its deep integration with the iPhone,” Garten said.