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Apple has discontinued the original HomePod

Apple HomePod
(Image credit: Apple)

According to TechCrunch, Apple has discontinued the original HomePod. The website quotes an unnamed Apple representative as stating that the company is "focusing our efforts on HomePod Mini".

Not only is this a disappointing development – the HomePod is one of the very best-sounding wireless speakers you can buy, after all – it also seems a little bit peculiar. Does a company as resource-rich as Apple really need to discontinue one product in order to focus on another? Surely not. Similarly, a single smart speaker surely isn't adequate for a company the size of Apple when so many rivals are producing whole families of similar devices.

We'd be tempted to guess that the four year-old HomePod is really making way for a new model (Apple is strongly rumoured to be hosting a launch event of some kind at the end of this month), but Apple doesn't usually discontinue a product before its replacement is announced.

Perhaps the intention was to replace the HomePod in March and Apple has wound-down production, but the replacement has had to be pushed back to later in the year. Whatever the full story is, we can't help but think that something's in the works.

According to the TechCrunch story, Apple will continue to sell the original HomePod until stock runs dry and is promising to offer support for the HomePods already sold. Whether that includes new feature updates and the like remains to be seen.

It wasn't long ago that Apple added its Intercom feature to the original HomePod and gave it the ability to handle Dolby Atmos sound from the Apple TV 4K, making today's news even more surprising.

If we were the betting sort, we'd bet that this is just the start of a hiatus for the HomePod, and that it will rise again in a new form at a later date. As soon as we hear anything on that front, we'll report back.

MORE:

Read our Apple HomePod review

Should you consider the Mini? Check out our HomePod Mini review

How HomePod was made: a tale of obsession from inside Apple’s audio labs

Looking for an alternative? Here are the best wireless speakers

  • Niallivm
    An odd story/speculation. Could there be a new HomePod to launch with an Apple Music Lossless service this Spring?
    Reply
  • millennia_one
    I find this very unlikely to b e the case. They have ceased production on the iMac Pro but thats soon to replaced buy the upcoming m1x version. They have Apple Music so they would want you stay in the eco system as much as possible tbh

    That’s a strange story
    Reply
  • Rich5970
    Speaking as an electronic engineer/technician, I have had the opportunity to attempt a repair on the Homepod. Unfortunately, Apple didn't consider repair when they designed the unit. If you look at the YouTube videos related to disassembly, you will notice they resort to cutting gear in order to gain access. I suspect therefore that the anticipated right to repair laws would find the unit in breach, which has led to the discontinuation
    Reply
  • WhiteKnight2020
    Niallivm said:
    An odd story/speculation. Could there be a new HomePod to launch with an Apple Music Lossless service this Spring?
    It's overpriced Cupertino fanbois rubbish, tied to their walled garden of massive markups, why does anyone care? In particular why do whf keep pushing this apple nonsense, most of us can't afford their ecosystem, or at least aren't prepared to give them 30% markups?
    Reply
  • Rich5970
    I believe that if you return a Homepod to Apple for repair, they charge 80% of the new price to remedy the issue. In other words, they don't repair them either. However, Apple people tend to be a little blinkered.
    Reply
  • manicm
    All of you and WHF have got it wrong - yes you’re all wrong and it’s that simple.

    The Home Pod Mini at 99 pounds has been outselling the 299 pounds Home Pod exponentially, and operationally the cheaper model is superior. So for actual customers sound quality is not the be all and end all for such a lifestyle device.

    Apple are not wilfully stupid, if at first they appear to be.
    Reply
  • eoc69
    Who cares about this overpriced trash. What's it even doing on a hi fi website?
    Reply