During the event, Apple introduced a new version of the HomePod smart speaker, HomePod Mini – a miniature version compared to the first version as well as a much more affordable price.
Like the original HomePod, the HomePod mini still features a mesh fabric finish in both white and black, along with a small screen at the top to show the Siri logo and control volume.
However, the new version carries a compact sphere, instead of the cylindrical design of the first generation. In addition, the new version is also equipped with a main speaker (main driver), two passive resonator membranes, and a sound pipe at the bottom.
Like other Apple products, the new HomePod mini comes with a company-designed chip, the Apple S5. This chip will deliver “compute audio” processing to adjust your music volume 180 times per second. Together, multiple HomePod mini can synchronize while playing music and intelligently pair together to create stereo sound when placed in the same room. Apple also equips the U1 chip, introduced by the company last year, to the HomePod mini to create a better Handoff experience.
Along with the launch of new smart speakers, Apple is also promising the device will support third-party music apps, including Pandora, Amazon Music and iHeartRadio – but unfortunately without Spotify.
An interesting feature that will be available on the HomePod mini is the “Intercom”, which allows multiple HomePod devices in different rooms in the same house to communicate with each other. The Intercom messages also show up on connected iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch.
The most significant change for the HomePod, however, is its selling price, $ 99, which is much more affordable than the $ 349 price tag of the first HomePod launched in 2018. The price is too expensive along with that. Limiting third-party apps has made it difficult to compete with competitors like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home.
With the new HomePod Mini version, Apple is trying to grab market share from its competitors. Not only is the price much more affordable, Apple is also equipping the HomePod Mini with new features and is also more open to some third-party apps.
Devices like the HomePod are not just smart speakers – it’s also the door to communicate with other HomeKit devices, allowing users to control everything from light to door opening, even when they are not at home. A cheaper, more accessible HomePod mini not only brings Siri and the Apple Music app into everyone’s home, but also expands Apple’s presence in the smart home playground.
Pre-orders will begin from November 6 and deliveries will start November 16.