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Apple is discontinuing the original HomePod

HomePod
HomePod (Image credit: Apple TV+)

What you need to know

  • Apple has announced that they are discontinuing the HomePod.
  • The company will continue to support it with software updates and service through AppleCare.
  • The HomePod mini will become the company's only smart speaker.

Yesterday, it was reported that the Space Gray HomePod was unavailable through Apple. At the time, it was thought that Apple may be running into production issues with the device, a reasonable guess due to the supply chain issues with virtually every product during the pandemic.

However, it appears that the lack of availability is due to the fact that Apple has made the decision to discontinue the HomePod altogether.

As reported by TechCrunch, after a four-year run, Apple is discontinuing the HomePod and focusing completely on the HomePod mini, its smaller but mighty HomePod speaker. The original HomePod, which took five years for the company to make, took an immense effort and a huge commitment from the company to produce the product that came to market.

The original HomePod was a feat of audio engineering that Apple spent over 5 years developing. In order to accomplish its development, the team at Apple built out a full development center near its headquarters in Cupertino, with a world-class development environment with a dozen anechoic chambers, including one of the bigger anechoic chambers outside of academic use in the US. I visited the center before its release, noting that Apple took it the extra mile to get the incredibly complex series of tweeters and woofer that built its soundspace:

White HomePod sitting on a television stand

White HomePod sitting on a television stand (Image credit: iMore)

While almost everyone praised the speaker for its incredible audio quality, it struggled to gain any kind of major traction due to the price point and the state of Siri, Apple's voice assistant, at the time of release.

The major gripe for the speaker at the time was the $349 price, which was at the top end of the home speaker market, especially those with embedded home assistants. A price drop to $299 mitigated that somewhat, but still put it at the top of the pricing umbrella for the class. Apple's HomePod mini, launched last year, has been well received. Our Brian Heater said that it had 'remarkably big sound' for the $99 price.

In a statement, Apple says that the HomePod will continue to be available through the Apple Online Store, Apple Stores, and authorized third-party retailers until supplies run out. It has also promised to continue to support the speaker with software updates and service through AppleCare, but it is unclear for how long.

HomePod mini has been a hit since its debut last fall, offering customers amazing sound, an intelligent assistant, and smart home control all for just $99. We are focusing our efforts on HomePod mini. We are discontinuing the original HomePod, it will continue to be available while supplies last through the Apple Online Store, Apple Retail Stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers. Apple will provide HomePod customers with software updates and service and support through Apple Care.

Homepod Mini Review 1

Homepod Mini Review 1 (Image credit: Stephen Warwick / iMore)

While the original HomePod never took off, we have to be appreciative for its existence. We never would have gotten the HomePod mini without it.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

5 Comments
  • Ouch! Bait and switch burn.
  • Bait and switch works the other way - you discontinue the cheap one so you can make more money on the expensive one.
  • You havent seen the replacement yet - think: airpods max pricing
  • This hurts. I have two HomePods and two Minis, both setup as a stereo pair in different rooms. The original HomePod definitely sounds better, but the Mini has better technology with the U1 chip and Thread support, and is cheaper. I'm hoping that Apple will create something like a HomePod Sound Bar that has the equivalent of an Apple TV 4K incorporated in it. Use the HomePod Mini as surround speakers to expand the sound. I wonder if Apple is thinking of this when they put surround capability in the HomePod for the Apple TV 4K just before they discontinued the HomePod.
  • "after a four-year run" Really, they have been out that long? I have two, each purchased at $199 sales. (At that price they are no-brainers, if you are Apple-y) They definitely sound better than the Minis, of which I have 3. They also sound better than any of the Amazon and Google AI speakers I have. The house is an Echo house for what it does; timers, intercom, quick look-ups, facts, weather, home control. The HomePods are for music. I have also never had any of my HomePods say, "you may be running low on toilet paper, would you like to order some now?" (yes, I have had Echos do that sort of thing). Lord only knows what my Google Home is up to.