Will Apple announce a new HomePod on Oct. 13? Here’s what we’ve heard

Tyler Lizenby / Tips Clear

Apple HomePod Debuted in 2018. It had a price tag of $ 349, sound great And risk of insertion White rings on your tabletop. Since then, Apple has not made much progress in the smart home, despite some good iterations on HomePod’s features through periodic software updates, even as Amazon and Google continue to expand their audiences Alexa And Google Assistant Products across the board.

But as Bloomberg reported earlier this year, Apple is leaving no stone unturned on HomePod. “According to people familiar with the plans,” Apple plans to release a smaller and cheaper HomePod. Details are few, but s say the new HomePod will be about half the size of the original. It will keep the same design, just on a smaller scale.

Apple did not announce the new speaker at its Online Worldwide Developers Conference in June nor at the September event. With the announcement of A. October 13, Rumors about a possible HomePod Mini are in circulation. A Bloomberg report earlier this year tipped the new HomePod for an October release.

Read more: How to watch Apple event on October 13

Pricing premiere

There is no word on the price of the second generation HomePod, but a smaller size likely means a smaller price as well. This is the biggest move Apple can compete with for the extremely popular (and often on sale) $ 50 Amazon Echo Dot And Google Nest Mini Speakers.

Since launching HomePod, Apple has lowered the price of its smart speaker from its original $ 349 to $ 299, though Goes on sale from time to time for $ 199 In America. in recent months, Report circulated That Apple is offering 50% off on HomePod to employees with a limit of 10 per employee (just above two). Could a drop in these prices indicate a stock clear-out?

Popular small smart speakers from Google and Amazon rule the market.

Chris Monroe / Tips Clear

Apple’s new patent

There are also rumors of Apple filing a patent for “fabric-covered electronic device with touch sensor” in 2019. The abstract description of the patent reads:

An electronic device such as a speaker device may have a curved housing characterized by a vertical longitudinal axis. A layer of fabric may cover the curved housing. A touch sensor can be used to detect tactile input on the fabric layer. Touch sensors may include capacitive touch sensor electrodes that include the drive line and the sense line.

The same goes for describing the light-emitting components where tactile sensors are located. This is quite different from the solid plastic top of the current HomePod, and is similar in design to the current touch fabric of the Nest Mini and the brand new. Nest audio.

With slimmer design and better pricing, Apple still has smart domestic challenges. Apple’s narrow selection of music streaming services and a small list of compatible smart home products make it a tough sell to anyone not particularly Appleverse.

Siri is still a problem

Then there is the issue of Siri as an assistant. Compared to the constantly evolving and personal voice assistants from Google and Amazon, Siri falls short. Just conversation Feel less natural, And often simple requests are not handled as natively as Google or Alexa. We spent hours with the three and discovered what Some things Siri just can’t do.

Whether they are rumors or fanboys’ wish lists, a HomePod sequel will certainly require some combination of extensive music service support and serious Siri upgrades – plus price-cutting cuts – so that smart home-savvy shoppers can afford Apple Another form of speaker.

Bonus rumor: Apple AirTags

If the possibility of the HomePod sequel does not raise your eyebrows, there are rumors of a debut this year. Apart from perennials Rumored Apple TV upgrade, Apple can join the tracker game and also accompany a product called an airtag or Apple tag.

According to Bloomberg s, the tag will allow users to track items like purses or keys, much more Tile tracker You can buy today. MacRumors mentioned the AirTag in an Apple support video (later removed) and screenshots shared with the website depicting the AirTag setup.

Usually held at Apple Park in Cupertino, California, this year the annual Worldwide Developers Conference will be virtual.

James Martin / Tips Clear

Even if these products are ahead of Apple, Coronavirus-Related delay may mean a later release. In April, the Wall Street Journal reported a delay in production of Apple’s newest iPhone. Manufacturing across Asia was heavily impacted and consumers spent less on big-ticket items, which could lead to delays to other Apple products such as HomePod or Airtag.

Last year, Apple reported expanding its HomeKit team and introducing new products. This led us to expect that Apple had a renewed interest in the connected home. If Apple really plans to move into the smart home, then it should really start with a better HomePod. Stay tuned to Tips Clear’s coverage of Tuesday’s event for all things Apple.

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