By simplifying the HomePod line, Apple creates a complicated problem


Here’s a thought experiment for you: when is a HomePod not a HomePod? When it’s the HomePod.

That logic doesn’t seem like it should work but the Macalope just ran it through the Logic-ometer 2000™ and the green light lit up, so…

No one understands the workings of the Logic-ometer 2000™, but the results cannot be questioned. Gary questioned them and look what happened to him.

Apple has confirmed that the HomePod proper—the big HomePod, the original HomePod, the HomePod Large—has been discontinued. While you can still buy one from Apple while supplies last, the only HomePod the company currently makes is the HomePod mini.

That’s not weird. You’re weird. That’s what we love about you, Ellen. Quirky, delightful Ellen who makes her own kombucha.

The Macalope never thought the HomePod would sell in huge numbers at the price the company was asking, but he did think it would sell in enough number for Apple. He was wrong. It’s not, however, like he put a ton of stock in the device. He did say one could argue it was “the Zune of home speakers”. That’s not a hard-line pro stance.

As for why Apple pulled the plug, Dan Moren explains why the HomePod mini is in a better position to fulfill any aspirations Apple has in this category (the reasons having to do with price and technology). Rene Ritchie, meanwhile, wonders if Apple might ship a redesigned larger HomePod at a later date.

The Macalope would tend to agree except the company’s statement saying “We are focusing our efforts on HomePod mini.” has a real we-can-only-afford-to-send-one-of-our-kids-to-college-and-the-younger-one-gets-better-grades kind of vibe to it. It hardly makes sense, however, to continue to sell a mini without an eponymous HomePod. Perhaps the company should retroactively name the discontinued device the HomePod Pro or Plus or something, just to make it more clear.

The HomePod prime was simply priced too high for the market, even factoring in its advantages over the competition (mainly sound quality and privacy). And it doesn’t help when one feature is at a disadvantage when compared to the competition: Siri. No one wants to pay $299 to be frustrated half the time.

$99, sure.

The odd thing for the Macalope is that while he never owned the large HomePod, owning the HomePod mini has made him think how nice it might be to have a larger one with better sound quality to replace his aging Sonos Play:1. He hopes the company eventually takes another shot at it, ideally at a lower price as long as we’re dreaming, but he’s not holding his breath.

A more likely scenario is the company reimagining its lineup. Another device Apple sells that seems overpriced for what it is is the Apple TV. One could imagine a HomePod sound bar that is both an Apple TV and a HomePod. Sonos sells sound bars starting at $399. That’s a price range Apple could slide into comfortably.

While you can write an epitaph for the HomePod, you can’t write one for the HomePod line. The HomePod is dead, long live the HomePod.


Yep, still confusing.

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