It must be spring cleaning week in Cupertino — first the iMac Pro, and now the original HomePod. And, as with the former, the announcement of the HomePod’s demise was made through a press outlet.
Apple gave TechCrunch a statement about the discontinuation:
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.
Existing HomePods will continue to be sold but Apple’s website is already out of Space Gray. It will continue to provide support for existing HomePods. Apple seems to be betting on the mini going forward, which could point to their desire to fill every room with ‘good enough’ sound rather than to focus on the living room with ‘truly unbelievable’ sound. The HomePod itself never quite got to the level where it could act as a full home theater replacement, though paired in their multi-speaker configurations.
One quirk of this decision is that the HomePod Mini does not — yet? — support home theatre surround sound with the Apple TV, so that feature seems like it is on ice for the time being. Perhaps it will come to the Mini later this year.
And, speaking of the Apple TV, I really hope this spring cleaning doesn’t go three for three by discontinuing the standalone box.
It’s so weird that there’s now just a mini version of a thing that doesn’t exist…
There are also “Air” and “Pro” versions of the “MacBook” that doesn’t exist, and a “Touch” version of the nonexistent “iPod”. And, if you wanted to be pedantic, “Pro” and “Mini” versions of a hypothetical “Mac”. It is a kind of strange situation where there are lots of names in Apple’s lineup suggesting the existence of other products that simply aren’t there.