Apple HomePod: Second-generation model to launch soon with lower price tag
Currently, Apple only offers a single smart speaker, with the company having discontinued the original model in 2021. In its place sits the HomePod mini, which it refreshed with new colour options in October of the same year. Arguably, the HomePod mini is not a replacement for the regular HomePod, with a single driver in the former compared to the eight in the latter.
According to Mark Gurman, Apple plans to launch the next HomePod 'fairly soon'. Unfortunately, the Apple analyst has not provided launch date details. Based on past product releases, Apple could introduce a second-generation HomePod in March or in the summer during WWDC 2023. We would not rule out another press release introduction though, as happened today with the new Mac mini, MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16. Regardless, Gurman asserts that the second-generation HomePod will look like its predecessor, albeit with a few internal updates.
Supposedly, the smart speaker will rely on the Apple S8 chipset, which is already available in the Apple Watch Series 8. While the Apple S8 offers only incremental improvements over the older Apple S6, it should be a decent uplift over the Apple A8 powering the first-generation HomePod. The next HomePod is also said to include an improved touch-sensitive top panel, although details about any changes are unclear at this stage. The second-generation HomePod promises to be cheaper than its predecessor too, a seeming sticking point with the first HomePod.