Rumor: Apple to offer cheaper smart speaker under Beats name
According to Strategy Analytics, of the 9.2 million smart speakers shipped in the first quarter, the Apple HomePod accounted for only 600,000 of those units. That gave Apple 6% of the market from January through March, behind Amazon's 43.6% and Google's 26.5%. There are a few reasons for this. Apple is late to the market, and at $349, the device is not cheap. In addition, Siri's capabilities pale in comparison to Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant.
According to a rumor from the Taiwan supply chain, Apple plans on offering a cheaper smart speaker that will be priced at $199. And the rumor goes on to add that the device will be released under the Beats name. This makes sense for a few reasons. Half of a smart speaker is a speaker, and Beats' headset technology might be useful here. In addition, keeping the Apple name off a cheaper smart speaker differentiates it from the HomePod.
If the HomePod does have an advantage over the competition, it is the speaker, which contains a 4-inch woofer and 7 tweeters. It also optimizes the audio output to the size of the room in which the device sits. But it is worth remembering that the speaker makes up only half of a smart speaker, and compared to the competition, Siri just isn't smart enough.