Apple officially discontinues the original HomePod smart speaker

After four years on the market, Apple’s HomePod is being discontinued. Apple confirmed to TechCrunch on Saturday that, while the smart speaker will be available for purchase from Apple’s website and retail outlets, it will be available until supply runs out. From now on, Apple said it will focus on the HomePod mini.

When it introduced in 2018, the HomePod was the most powerful premium-sounding smart speaker on the market. The speaker was aimed at the top-end of the market and Apple justified the price by focusing on audio quality compared to cheaper smart speaker offerings from Amazon and Google.

The HomePod was praised for its excellent audio quality, but it was heavily criticized for its $349 price tag. In April 2019, Apple dropped the price to $299, and a year later the HomePod debuted in India. The HomePod currently retails for Rs 19,900.

“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,” an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Apple will provide HomePod customers with software updates and service and support through Apple Care.”

Apple launched the HomePod mini last October at Rs 9,900. It’s significantly smaller than the original HomePod and uses an Apple Watch chip inside to run Siri and audio processing. Users can use the HomePod mini to play listen to songs or podcasts. But unlike smart speakers from Amazon and Google, the HomePod mini is tightly integrated with Apple’s music service, Apple Music. The support for Spotify is missing at the moment.

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