New Delhi: Tech giant Apple has discontinued its first smart speaker, the HomePod, choosing to focus on the smaller HomePod Mini. The company had launched the device back in 2018, taking on Amazon and Google in the burgeoning market. The HomePod will be sold till stocks last.
“HomePod mini has been a hit since its debut last fall, offering customers amazing sound, an intelligent assistant, and smart home control all for just INR 9900. We are focusing our efforts on HomePod mini. 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. Apple will provide HomePod customers with software updates and service and support through AppleCare,” the company said in a statement.
Unlike Amazon and Google’s smart speakers, Apple chose to focus its efforts on the audio quality of its devices. While the HomePod does support Siri, the speakers produced much better audio than competing devices from the two other tech giants. That said, it also made the HomePod considerably more expensive than most of its competition, which is probably why Apple introduced a smaller HomePod Mini last year.
The HomePod was priced at Rs. 19,990 in India, putting it in competition with speakers like the Bose Home Speaker 500 and the Sony SRS XB402M.
According to a February report by market research firm techARC, the smart speaker market in India surpassed one million shipments in 2020, with Amazon topping the charts. The e-commerce giant captured 79% of the market share by volume, with Xiaomi in the second spot with 10% market share. The company said that Apple took 2% of the market share by volume in India, with 84% of its smart speaker shipments being of the HomePod Mini.