Apple has officially lowered the price of HomePod worldwide. In the price fell from $ 349 to $ 299, breaking the $ 300 level. HomePod has benefited from promotional discounts at many third-party retailers (for example, it currently stands at $ 279 at Best Buy), but Apple has now dropped the standard smart enclosure catalog price.
This price reduction is down about 15% and apparently applies to all regions, not just the United States. For example, the price in the UK fell from £ 319 to £ 279.
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It is rare for Apple to reduce the price of its products during the cycle, but not without precedent. Apple has lowered the price of third-generation Apple TV from $ 99 to $ 69 in March 2015; the tvOS successor only made its debut six months later.
Apple is not a major player in the smart speaker market, dominated by cheaper competitors like Amazon Echo. However, the HomePod has carved out a solid niche and dominates the market for smart speakers above 250 USD. It's just that the premium portion of the market is still quite small, measured in one-digit millions.
Perhaps the $ 350 to $ 299 price cut will spur a surge in sales and bring new customers to Apple's HomePod.
The HomePod has received a lot of criticism when it was launched a little over a year ago, but Apple has solved many problems in successive software updates, such as adding AirPlay 2 for stereo and multi-room pairs, and simultaneous support for multiple timers with Siri, the ability to answer and make phone calls, calendar integration, and more. Of course, there is always more to do, like multi-user profiles.
Early readers generally praised the sound quality of the HomePod and its ability to hear users remotely through its network of six microphones, but even its biggest fans have admitted that the price of $ 349 was too high. $ 299 is a much more competitive offer.
Since the HomePod only runs natively with Apple's own streaming service, Apple can compensate for lower margins in the longer term on the purchase of original equipment by using the speaker as a proxy to encourage subscriptions to 9 $ 99 / month to Apple Music.