Apple has quietly slashed the price of its HomePod smart speaker (AAPL)
- Apple’s HomePod speaker is now $299, a drop from its $349 original price.
- The price cut comes as Apple has struggled to gain as much traction in the smart speaker space as Amazon and Google.
- Even with its lowered price, there are still less expensive options available from Google and Amazon.
Apple has permanently decreased the price of its HomePod smart speaker to $299, a $50 drop from its original price of $349.
The price cuts appear to have gone into effect on Thursday, as indicated by multiple reports. Apple’s Siri-enabled speaker was listed at its original $349 as recently as April 2, according to an older version of the webpage preserved by the Internet Archive.
The decrease in price comes as Apple’s HomePod has struggled to keep up with Amazon’s Echo devices and Google’s Home lineup. As of January 2019, the Amazon Echo accounted for 61.1% of the smart speaker market share in the United States, while Google’s speakers accounted for 23.9%, according to a survey conducted by Voicebot.ai and Voiceify. The “Other” category, which includes speakers like Apple’s HomePod and the Sonos One, grabbed 15% of the U.S. smart speaker market.
While the figures indicate that Amazon and Google have a sizeable lead ahead of Apple, it’s worth noting that this “Other” category grew significantly between January 2018 and 2019. The study indicates that this category only accounted for 9.7% of the smart speaker market in January 2018 and leaped to 15% one year later, while Amazon’s share dipped from 71.9% in 2018 to 61.1% in 2019. Google’s presence also increased from 18.4% to 23.9% during the same time period.
Even at $299, Apple’s HomePod is still notably pricier than alternatives from Google and Amazon, such as the $129 Google Home and the $149.99 Echo Plus. But it’s still less expensive than the $399 Google Home Max, the search giant’s premium audio offering.
Apple’s decision to cut the HomePod’s price doesn’t address the biggest concern among reviewers: that Siri’s functionality is too limited compared to Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant.