Apple Could release a cheaper HomePod under Beats brand

Rumors are circulating about a cheaper model — $200 versus the current $350 — that would be marketed under the Beats brand, according to Chinese site Sina .

Following a Chinese report, Loveios wrote: “According to Taiwan’s supply chain source (Via Sina), Apple is in talk (sic) with MediaTek to launch a cheap version of its HomePod speakers to grab more market share. Statistics show that HomePod sold only 600,000 units in the first quarter of this year, which is a lot worse than Google and Amazon.”

Marketing it under Beats would certainly give Apple more latitude with the design, especially colors and textures, since Apple-labeled products are a homogeneous-looking lot. The only bright color in the line is when it produces a Product Red iPhone.

It would also allow Apple to use cheaper components in a less audiophile-oriented speaker. Mediatek, the company it’s supposedly partnering with, is one of the companies Amazon sources its parts from for the Echo line. And Beats would allow a less high-end look and feel without diluting Apple’s “premium” je ne sais quoi.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If true, it may not come as a huge surprise for anyone who remembers the headlines that followed the HomePod release back in February 2018. The smart speaker, priced at US$349 (RM1,385) – compared to the second-generation Amazon Echo at US$99 (RM393) and the Google Home at US$129 (RM512) – left white ring marks on wooden surfaces, permanently damaging furniture.


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