Why did Apple discontinue the Portable HomePod Speaker?
On Friday, there was an announcement from Apple on their webpage about discontinuing their Portable HomePod Speaker. While that didn’t shock the market, it still grabbed the attention of those who loved the brand. Now, why did Apple decide to do so? Of course, the brand has been discontinuing other devices such as some iPads and even iPhones, and the reason is clear: they continue releasing newer models.
The same may be the case with their HomePod Speaker. Yes, it took everyone by surprise, but we’re sure everyone thinks it was only a matter of time. Although they’ll discontinue manufacturing the bigger HomePod, they promise to support it.
Of course, the majority thinks it’s such a waste to discontinue the HomePod because it was considered Apple’s most sophisticated speaker ever. The HomePod has seven tweeters encircling the speaker with an amplifier powering each driver. The HomePod, of course, has Siri, and with the AirPlay 2, it was possible to play different songs on different HomePods at home. Despite the lack of an impressive number of tweeters and amplifiers built-in, there was Amazon Alexa to back them up and Google Assistant as well as great battery lives. Even with such remarkable features and speakers to boot, the Apple HomePod didn’t rise to popularity as much as cheaper speakers did on Amazon. These speakers that outranked the Apple HomePod were noticeably smaller and lighter l.
So let’s list down piece by piece why the Apple HomePod, despite being bought by some people, never made it up the ranks.
It costs an arm and a leg.
The HomePod costs about $349 in the market. That price already makes you and your bank weep. Even when Apple decided to cut it down to $299, it still won’t convince people to spend that big amount for one speaker. Of course, many speakers are within the same price range as with the HomePod, but most of them are usually for movie enthusiasts who wish to enjoy an all-surround sound system that is both wireless and portable.
Still, for the HomePod to cost that much, it doesn’t surprise anyone at all, especially since it’s Apple.
Sound quality’s not as premium as the price.
It’s a given that if a speaker costs half of your sanity, it should sound so good that it bounces off the walls and resonates through the floor. But no, the HomePod isn’t up to that level. Of course, the sound quality is good with its speaker surrounded by tweeters with their amplifiers, but it still gets easily defeated by the Google Home Max and Sonos Play: 5.
If your target market is the audiophiles, spending $300 on a speaker is nothing to fret about. But we doubt that most of them would willingly spend that amount on the HomePod.
The design is…
The HomePod’s design, although unique and very creative, is not suitable, especially for home use. Due to its circular body with speakers surrounding it, it’s more likely that the other side of the speaker will make the audio sound muffled and probably trapped. It’s quite difficult to imagine that majority of the market will set their speakers at the very centre of their rooms and let it blast music just like that. Many individuals in need are looking for speakers for their movies, casual song playing, and gaming. While it’s quite a wonderful way of arranging your living room with the speaker at the centre, it’s still not everybody’s kind of arrangement.
Everyone wants convenience in streaming music they like. Apple’s HomePod’s streaming support is limited to one and only one: Apple Music. If you plan on streaming music from Youtube, Spotify and all other streaming platforms, you’ll need the AirPlay 2 for that. It’s an additional effort for the user and makes it look like the price is way too much to go through such trouble.
HomePod Mini, though
While the bigger, pricier HomePod will never be popular with everyone, Apple still has their Apple HomePod Mini that successfully jumps into the realm of affordable speakers. The HomePod Mini costs $99.
It’s no surprise that Apple wants to put the HomePod Mini at the centre–despite its sound quality not as impressive as bigger speakers–than insisting on their bigger HomePod. There are just too many obstacles with using the bigger HomePod, and nowadays, people prefer one that is not only budget-friendly but also convenient. Still, there are better and cheaper portable speakers in the market, but at least the HomePod Mini won’t burn a hole through your wallet if ever you end up buying it.