Apple discontinues HomePod smart speaker in India, less than one year after putting it up on sale

By: |
March 13, 2021 7:11 PM

“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 Rs 9,900. We are focusing our efforts on HomePod mini,” Apple said.

apple homepodGoing forward, Apple will focus its efforts on the HomePod Mini, its more affordable ‘mini’ smart speaker. (File Photo)

Apple has discontinued the HomePod smart speaker globally including in India. The news stands out particularly in India than say elsewhere, because Apple only started selling the HomePod here in May 2020, almost two years after it was launched for global markets. Because there is no successor to the HomePod just yet, you can say, it probably had the shortest life cycle for any Apple product in India. That is not to say that the HomePod has reached end of life though.

“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 said in a statement given out to Financial Express Online over email. “Apple will provide HomePod customers with software updates and service and support through AppleCare.”

Going forward, Apple will focus its efforts on the HomePod Mini, its more affordable ‘mini’ smart speaker.

“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 Rs 9,900. We are focusing our efforts on HomePod mini,” Apple said.

The HomePod is a high-end speaker powered by Apple’s Siri voice assistant that cost Rs 19,990 in India at launch. Unlike rival products from Amazon and Google, Apple touts HomePod as a ‘high-quality audio’ speaker first and smart later. With features like 360-degree sound, the HomePod can dynamically adjust to its surroundings to offer the best ‘high-fidelity’ audio playback. It has six microphones and supports echo and noise cancellation.

But as powerful and good sounding the HomePod is, many critics have taken it to task over its Siri smart capabilities and Apple’s closely guarded ecosystem (which means that it works only with an Apple product like an iPhone or iPad or Mac). It would be interesting to see if Apple comes out with a successor this year—or sometime in the future.

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