HomePod 2 Launch Date, Pricing, Options & Spec Rumours

The HomePod is Apple’s try at a sensible speaker, and it’s definitely on-brand, providing a classy speaker system that arguably prioritises audio efficiency over its good capabilities – however it’s bettering on a regular basis due to OTA updates. It was launched again in 2018, main many to consider {that a} second-generation HomePod might be within the works at Apple HQ. Is Apple engaged on a HomePod 2?

There aren’t many rumours proper now, however that doesn’t cease us from predicting what to anticipate based mostly on Apple’s historical past and improvements in different product traces. Right here’s all you’ll want to know in regards to the HomePod 2 proper now.

When will the HomePod 2 be launched?

Whereas Apple tends to replace its primary product traces – Watch, iPhone, iPad and Mac – on a yearly foundation, the identical can’t be mentioned for its audio assortment. The AirPods, AirPods Professional and HomePod are on a very completely different replace schedule, with Apple ready three years between the discharge of the first- and second-generation AirPods, and with the HomePod being a first-generation product, we don’t but understand how lengthy Apple plans to attend between releases.

That’s difficult additional by the introduction of the £99/$99 HomePod Mini on the October 2020 Occasion, bringing a less expensive, but nonetheless good, speaker to the plenty. It’s based mostly loosely on the design of its greater sibling with a extra rounded form, and at simply over 3in tall, it’s definitely worthy of the Mini moniker. It’s not the HomePod 2, however it’s a new product to get individuals extra keen on Apple’s good speaker providing.

At this level, it appears a 2021 and even 2022 launch might be on the playing cards. Apple is rumoured to be revealing the AirPods Studio at an occasion in March 2021, presumably alongside different up to date AirPods, in order that might be a very good alternative for Apple to replace its high-end good speaker. We’ll replace this part as we hear extra.

How a lot will the HomePod 2 price?

The HomePod initially price £329/$349 when it was launched, and lots of criticised it for its excessive price ticket. A lot so, in actual fact, that Apple completely slashed the value of the HomePod to £279/$299 again in 2019, and it’s usually discounted at UK retailers like John Lewis, bringing it right down to as little as £199. That’s a way more palatable worth for a sensible speaker, and extra in-line with the likes of the varied Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant choices.

It’s additionally encouraging to see the HomePod Mini are available at such a aggressive worth at £99/$99. It’s nonetheless costly in comparison with Amazon’s Echo Dot, but it surely does present that Apple is prepared to compromise on pricing for its HomePod merchandise.

That being mentioned, we count on the HomePod 2 to price £279/$$299, or presumably even barely cheaper, relying on simply how onerous Apple needs to compete.  

Will the HomePod look any completely different?

It is a little more durable to foretell, particularly given the dearth of leaks thus far.

That being mentioned, the HomePod Mini is basically a smaller, rounder model of the HomePod with the identical materials and common design language, and as such, we will’t actually see Apple utterly redesigning the second-generation HomePod. It’d simply look misplaced alongside the unique and the Mini, and if Apple actually needs the HomePod to be a staple of the good dwelling, it’ll wish to encourage utilizing as many as doable within the dwelling.  

Moreover, there aren’t any actual complaints in regards to the design of the HomePod. It could be a bit on the heavy facet at 2.5kg, however the seamless mesh material and backlit contact floor look glossy, and it doesn’t look misplaced regardless of the place it lives.

What options will the brand new HomePod supply?

On the coronary heart of the HomePod, you’ll discover the now-ageing A8 chipset. For reference, that’s the identical chipset as what shipped with the iPhone 6 again in 2015. That’s not essentially a nasty factor, because it’s obvious that the A8 is greater than able to dealing with the present suite of good options on supply from Apple’s good speaker, however with a view to increase the providing, Apple might want to up the processing energy on supply.

It’s onerous to say what it’ll function contemplating a sensible speaker doesn’t want the identical stage as an iPhone, but when Apple needs to use the identical machine studying know-how current within the iPhone and iPad, it’ll must be an A12 Bionic – or a customized model for the HomePod – on the very minimal.

Alongside an upgraded chipset is prone to be Apple’s U1 chipset, enabling Extremely Large Band (UWB) performance. Apple has been slowly integrating the U1 into its product line, now discovered within the iPhone and Apple Watch, and it’s rumoured to be coming to the subsequent Apple TV and Apple’s AirTags too. The tech makes it simpler for Apple gadgets to speak, facilitating quicker knowledge switch in addition to extra correct location sharing. Take the HomePod Mini for instance; utilizing the U1 chip, it could possibly detect when an iPhone is close by and alter audio output to the speaker, and vice-versa.  

The issue (and by downside I imply non-problem) with the HomePod is that new options and performance are sometimes pushed out by OTA replace, negating the necessity for a {hardware} refresh to introduce enjoyable new issues to do.

For the reason that preliminary launch of the HomePod, it has gained new performance together with AirPlay 2 assist, Apple Intercom and even the flexibility to recognise as much as six completely different members of the house by the sound of their voices, and it’s doubtless extra options are deliberate for the long run. As revealed on the October 2020 occasion, Apple is planning to widen music streaming assist to incorporate Pandora and Amazon Music within the coming months, and we will solely hope that extra will likely be added in future.

There aren’t any stable leaks or rumours about what to anticipate from the HomePod 2, it’s true, however that doesn’t imply the crew isn’t working onerous on a second-gen speaker behind closed doorways at Apple Park. We’ll be updating this text as information seems, so verify again continuously for the newest Apple HomePod 2 gossip.  

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