The data (or a glimpse) of it is finally out. The HomePod is not doomed at all. Heck, it now owns 6% of the smart speaker market share. It all happened under two months. For what’s worth, this is a pretty good start for Apple.
Previously, I mentioned that most HomePod buyers are first-time adopters of not only the device, but also the industry. Yes, that’s right. 74% of HomePod owners were not using any type of smart speaker. If we consider this data from Slice Intelligence seriously, then Apple has on-boarded around 444,000 new users at a price which many thought was audiously high.
However, there has been the news of an affordable version of HomePod. It seems like a dream that everyone’s dreaming.
Over the weekend, we received a “suspicious” leak about a new speaker which may ship with the Beats branding.
Beats Pill Reinvented?
When Apple bought Beats, it bought a whole team of sound engineers who knew the audio business pretty well. This is why the iPhone maker is actively innovating in the field of audio. The HomePod is a marvellous creation, second to none in most cases.
However, before it, there was an icon in the speakers market. It went by the name of Beats Pill, later succeeded by Pill+ and Pill 2.0.
Buy Beats Pill+
The oval-shaped speaker is loved by many. On Amazon, it has a 4.6 stars rating, and it paved the way for many similar looking devices. Furthermore, it pairs up nicely with a second Pill+ speaker, all thanks to a dedicated app.
It’s true. The left-and-right playback capability is already available for Pill+ speaker. Then how come it’s not available for HomePod? Because the Beats speakers do not have a microphone connected to a built-in digital assistant. Therefore it’s taking some time.
Affordable, But Siri-less?
The leaked information also mentioned the expected price: $199. Currently, the Beat Pill+ retails at $179, but it’s more than two years old now. Therefore, a $20 increment in pricing makes sense since the newer version may support AirPlay 2 features as well as the ability to connect with other Apple devices, like the iPhone or perhaps the HomePod.
Then, there is the absence of Siri. Well, that’s a smart business decision. You see the HomePod is too new to get a younger sibling. For now, what it needs is a friendly cousin. Something that is not similar, but still deliver good audio.
Therefore, expecting Siri in a $199 speaker is too much for now. If you ask me, it may never happen. However, this affordable speaker can be a nice secondary buy for people who want multi-channel surround sound but don’t want to break the bank.
Not to mention, it would be portable enough to carry around unlike the cat-cushion-shaped HomePod.
By the way, there is a way it can work with Siri. If it’s getting tethered to iPhone, then Apple will be able to include a few smart features. This way, the Beats speaker won’t be an entirely dumb speaker.