Apple is hoping that this video convinces you to buy the "All-new" HomePod
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You know the saying. If at first, you don't succeed, try, try again. Apple released the original HomePod in 2018. The tech giant overpriced the device charging consumers $349 for a smart speaker. It didn't sell well leading Apple to create the $99 HomePod mini which sold much better than the original model. In March 2021, Apple pulled the HomePod to focus on the smaller speaker. The company still believed in the full-size HomePod and with new technologies available, it tried again with today's unveiling of the HomePod (2023).
Apple creates a new video to commemorate the introduction of the new HomePod (2023)
While there was no event to stream, Apple did create and disseminate a video running over two minutes in length that will probably be edited to become a television commercial. The video starts with a close-up of the device and as the camera zooms out, we see that the new HomePod looks pretty much like the old one. As a catchy beat plays in the background, we learn that the device, like the original, sports a high-excursion woofer. This means that the woofer moves a large amount of air to deliver outstanding bass.
We also are told that the new HomePod (again, like the original) uses beamforming-tweeters to push out certain sounds in specific directions to create a stage of sound that will fill a room. The device also figures out the room in which it is placed-again, like the original-and adjusts how audio is played. 360-degree Spatial audio is available to users of the new model to deliver a taste of surround sound. The iPhone 6's A8 chip used on the OG HomePod has been replaced with the S7 used on the Apple Watch to help deliver computational audio.
Pre-order the new Apple HomePod (2023)
The video notes that two HomePods can be linked for stereo sound. Apple says that the immersive experience offered by the HomePod (2023) provides the "ultimate home audio experience." And with Siri as the digital voice assistant, the video shows how smart home devices can be activated the second you walk in the door. Ask Siri to turn on the lights, and request the music that you want to hear.
If you have a home with a new HomePod in each room, you can even alert the entire household when dinner is ready without having to scream or walk from room to room. With Apple’s Sound Recognition technology, the HomePod (2023) can recognize a smoke alarm or a carbon monoxide detector and alert you via a notification sent to your iPhone. And with temperature and humidity sensors onboard, the new HomePod can be set to automatically make your home feel comfortable.
Did Apple make enough changes to the new HomePod to interest those who ignored the original?
Still priced at a premium price as far as smart speakers go, the new HomePod will cost you $299 and can be pre-ordered now with a release date of February 3rd. It will be available in White or Midnight.
The big question as far as Apple is concerned is whether it has made enough changes to warrant the purchase of the HomePod five years after it whiffed on the product the first time. With no change to the price that the original model was selling for when Apple took it off the board, the HomePod (2023) might get some play from those already heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem. But for others, the HomePod (2023) remains a hard sell.
Remember, the smart speaker was created by Amazon which rode its Echo speakers to the top of the industry for years. Google also has a nice business in this space. We will have to see how the HomePod (2023) does in the marketplace-consumers have the final say of course-but it is hard to see those who ignored the first-generation HomePod suddenly deciding that they need to buy the new one.