Two white homepods sitting on a television standSource: Rene Ritchie / iMore

What you need to know

  • It is reported that Apple has slashed the employee discount price of its HomePod.
  • Employees can reportedly now buy one for just $149, half the standard price.
  • Reports suggest this could signal an imminent update.

It is being reported that Apple has dramatically reduced the employee price for its HomePod, in a sign that could indicate Apple is about to release an update to the product and needs to offload inventory.

As reported by 9to5Mac:

Apple is currently running a special promotion for employees. The HomePod usually retails for $299 for customers, but Apple retail and corporate employees can pick up a HomePod right now at half price: $149.50 each to be exact.

This special employee discount is not unprecedented, but uncommon. It is possible that Apple is trying to reduce inventory of the HomePod ahead of a rumored product update. Although the HomePod is widely praised for its sound quality, its high price relative to the smart speaker market has meant it has not been a mainstream success.

In fact, it seems like the HomePod inventory has been hard to shift for a while. It is still possible to walk into a retail store and pick up a HomePod that was manufactured in early 2019, or perhaps even late 2018.

Apple Homepod DiscountSource: iGeneration

The HomePod was discounted by 50% for employees when it was initially launched, and Apple also offered half-price reductions on the original Series 1 Apple Watch when that was announced. Whilst significantly higher than Apple's usual employee discount (around 27%), a 50% reduction is not unheard of. A similar report from iGeneration claims that Apple is trying to offload not only the HomePod but also stocks of Beats headphones.

The news could signal the HomePod is due to be refreshed in a coming update.