The new smart speaker may be sold for less than $200 under the Beats brand, a report suggests .
(CCM) — Apple's failure to compete successfully in the smart speaker market with its HomePod device may force the company to offer a price-cut alternative, according to a BGR report.
Information leaking out of Apple's supply chain in Taiwan suggests that the company is planning a smaller device which may retail for between $150 and $200, the report says. It is not clear if this new device will include audio functionality or if an external speaker connection will be required, similar to Amazon's low-cost Echo Dot. The new device will be sold under Apple's Beats headphone brand, according to the report.
Apple launched the HomePod smart speaker to critical acclaim in February 2018, but its sales have been lackluster. According to a Strategic Analytics report, the HomePod accounted for just 6% of global smart speaker sales in the first quarter of 2018, compared to Amazon Echo's 43.6% market share and Google Home's 26.5% market share.
There are two key reasons why consumers have shunned the HomePod. Although the sound quality produced by the device's speakers is extremely good, the in-built Siri intelligent assistant functionality is far less capable than Amazon's Alexa or Google's Assistant. The HomePod's $349 price tag is also far in excess of the $99 Amazon Echo or the $129 Google Home.
Image: © Apple.