Is Apple Trolling Us With The New HomePod?

I have to admit that I am not getting what Apple is up to here.

Apple released a new HomePod at $299 USD yesterday. And it has the following features:

  • From the press images, it looks almost exactly like the original HomePod.
  • It comes in white and “Midnight” which I guess is the new black in the Apple reality distortion field. Either way, those are the same colour choices as the original HomePod.
  • It comes with the S7 chip from the Apple Watch Series 7 which replaces the A8 chip that came with the original HomePod. And is a step up from the S5 chip from the HomePod mini. That should make this new HomePod faster, but having used the HomePod mini for 2 years, I can’t say that they are slow.
  • This HomePod can apparently sense temperature and humidity. But fun fact: The same sensors are on the HomePod mini but Apple didn’t activate them. Though that will change next week with a software update.
  • There’s a U1 chip to hand off audio from an iPhone. But fun fact: The HomePod mini has this too.
  • It has a four-inch high-excursion woofer, five tweeters, and four microphones. But fun fact: The original HomePod had two more tweeters and two more microphones. So you can argue that this is a bit of a downgrade.
  • It has a bigger screen at the top versus the original HomePod to bring it in line with the design language of the HomePod mini.
  • It has Thread and Matter support, just like the HomePod mini.
  • It can recognize sounds like smoke and CO2 alarms and send push notifications to your phone to let you know that it heard something. But that’s coming to the HomePod mini and this HomePod in a future software update.
  • It can adjust the audio to fit the room that you’re in. But fun fact: The HomePod mini does this already.
  • Just like every other version of the HomePod, only people within Apple’s walled garden can use the HomePod. Or put another way, your friends on Android will have to bring their own speakers to your home if they want to play music from their phones and tablets.

The thing is based on the above, why should anyone buy one? No really. That’s a serious question. Let me explain.

For starters, it’s at the same price that Apple discontinued the original HomePod at. And as I mentioned earlier, you can argue that while they gave you a faster processor and brought it in line with from a feature perspective with the HomePod mini, you’re getting less in the audio department. Though to be fair, that’s going to have to be tested by tech YouTubers and we will find out quickly if having two less microphones and two less tweeters makes a difference in the real world. And what doesn’t help is that the HomePod mini is so good at $99 USD that I see zero reason to buy or recommend a HomePod at $299. Honestly, my review of the HomePod mini from 2020 was glowing. And this new HomePod would have to utterly destroy the HomePod mini to make me want to replace any of the four HomePod minis that I own with a HomePod. And the fact that a lot of the features that Apple highlighted the HomePod mini either does already, or will be doing soon really cements the fact that I feel like Apple is trolling us here. It’s as if they said this over at Apple Park when they were planning this product:

“The original HomePod failed because it was too expensive. So let’s add some stuff from the HomePod mini, take away some stuff to increase our profit margins where we think nobody will notice it, and release it at the same price that the original HomePod was reduced to before it tanked. What could go wrong?”

If Apple has some brilliant plan behind this HomePod, I’m currently not seeing it. Though, part of me wonders if this is the first step in a larger plan by Apple to take over the home by using the HomePod as a beach head to do so. And all of this will eventually make sense in a couple of years when there’s a full line of HomePod products as well as other products that work with HomePod. I hope that’s the case because in the here and now, it seems that Apple is just releasing this new HomePod in hopes that they are going to strike gold after the first one crashed and burned in such a spectacular manner. I guess we’ll see in the next couple of years what the plan is, or isn’t from Apple.

One Response to “Is Apple Trolling Us With The New HomePod?”

  1. […] in a summary format. Finally, I should note that the new HomePod that Apple is releasing shortly, which I can’t figure out why it exists, has similar functionality. And it is a safe bet that those will ship with 16.3 installed from the […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: