Apple Reintroduced the HomePod a Year Ago Today

Apple relaunched the HomePod one year ago today, debuting a second-generation model almost five years after the original model’s introduction.

The ‌HomePod‌ was announced at WWDC in 2017 and launched in 2018 after a heavily delayed launch. The device was met with mixed reviews; critics praised its outstanding sound quality but pointed out its high price, missing features, and limited functionality compared to rivals.

Apple dropped its price from $349 to $299 in April 2019 and, in March 2021, the company announced that it was discontinuing the first-generation ‌HomePod‌, instead shifting its focus to the HomePod mini, which launched the previous year. The decision left a gap in Apple’s product lineup for a full-sized smart speaker until the company introduced the second-generation model via a press release on January 18, 2023.

The second-generation ‌HomePod‌ looks virtually identical to the original, although it is 0.2 inches shorter and has a larger edge-to-edge LED touchscreen on top. It also boasts a range of upgrades and changes compared to its 2018 predecessor:

‌HomePod‌ (second-generation, 2023)

‌HomePod‌ (first-generation, 2018)

Refined design with acoustically transparent mesh fabric

Design with acoustically transparent mesh fabric

Larger backlit touch surface that illuminates from edge to edge

Backlit touch surface

S7 chip from 2021’s Apple Watch Series 7

A8 chip from 2013’s iPhone 6 and ‌iPhone‌ 6 Plus

U1 ultra wideband chip

Five horn-loaded tweeters

Seven horn-loaded tweeters

Four far-field beamforming microphones

Six far-field beamforming microphones

6.6 inches tall

6.8 inches tall

Weighs 5.16 pounds

Weighs 5.5 pounds

Removable power cable

Fixed power cable

Wi-Fi 4 connectivity (802.11n)

Wi-Fi 5 connectivity (802.11ac)

Thread support

Temperature and humidity sensor

Sound Recognition

Available in White and Midnight

Available in White and Space Gray

While Apple’s potential plans for a third-generation ‌HomePod‌ are unclear a year after the current model was introduced, there are a multitude of rumors surrounding a ‌HomePod‌ with an LCD touchscreen display arriving as soon as 2024.

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