Apple introduces HomePod mini: smaller, cheaper and with better sound than the original model - The new speaker from Apple already has a name: HomePod mini.
This was confirmed by the company during the last presentation event, held this Tuesday online and has had important news such as the launch of the iPhone 12 or the sale of older models. The device, presented by the CEO of the company, Tim Cook, will keep the main features of the original HomePod but with a lower dimensions (8.38 cm high) and price (99 euros), making them more accessible to any user.
The gadget, a kind of Sphere wrapped in white or dark gray fabrics, integrates a touchpad at the top to change the speaker volume, start Siri or change the music, as in the original model. Because this is the main function of the device: "create a new way to interact with music and the house," in the words of Cook.
Thus, the signature of the bite Apple has also highlighted its commitment to privacy and security to interact with the smart home, in which the HomePod mini will have a fundamental role. Through it (or them, if you have several units spread around the house) connects the entire smart home network, so you can control any device connected to it and organize the House simply by talking to the speaker or mobile; in turn, several speakers mean several connections, so you can talk to each other in different spaces of the home.
Apple introduces HomePod Mini
But that doesn't mean it's just a walkie-talkie. HomePods mini recognize the users who speak to them according to their voice, so they can share with each one specific and specific details according to the profile that the speaker has created of each member of the family.
The same applies to, for example, musical tastes, another point highlighted by Apple.
According to the company, the device will offer a quality sound that will allow you to listen to it from anywhere in the House, divide it into stereo between several speakers and adjust its volume and specifications automatically depending on the song that sounds. It is also able to recognize an iPhone remotely to connect to it and offer suggestions depending on the user's profile. The catch, for the moment, is that it does not have the services of Amazon and Pandora, which will come into force soon.
The original HomePod, introduced in 2017, was recognized as one of the industry's best-sounding smart speakers. Its price, however, made it much less affordable than the proposals of Google and Amazon, who currently dominate this segment. At this point Cook also wanted to hit the table, offering the HomePod mini for 99 euros, at least in the United States, from November 6.
The interior of the new HomePod consists of a speaker powered by two membranes that give it good bass, all managed by the chip S5 (the same Apple Watch). With it also adds the integration of HomeKit and the Home application, which includes a new section with personalized tips for those who start to equip their home, always according to the profiles mentioned above.
Apple introduces HomePod Mini
Why the iPhone 12 could be Apple's most important launch in the last decade
Apple's annual release of its new iPhone model is always watched by lupa both by its customers and by Wall Street, but this 2020 is particularly critical for the company.
Analysts hope that the iPhone 12, which will be presented this Tuesday, could generate the largest shopping process for Apple's iconic device in years.
The reasons are, among others, that many iPhone users have devices that accumulate several years and would be willing to replace them, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives. In addition, this will be the first device compatible with Apple's 5G networks, allowing you to receive updates as these next-generation networks roll out.
The combination of 5G compatibility along with other elements, such as the availability of new sizes, more affordable prices for this iPhone 12 than for previous models, or that there are a significant number of users with older iPhones, can trigger a key moment for Apple.
"In my opinion, this is the most important moment of the last decade for Apple," said Wedbush Securities analyst in statements to Business Insider.
The release comes after Apple reported a decline in iPhone sales in its quarterly results in recent years. Some analysts have attributed this to price growth and that its new features have not been perceived as innovative enough for many customers to think about changing their device.
Apple began reversing the trend with the iPhone 11, which offered better performance than expected, but the iPhone 12 is expected to be the big boost Wall Street expects.
At the same time, the company led by Tim Cook has made an effort to reduce its dependence on the iPhone by growing other areas, such as digital services and accessories.
Between 350 and 950 million iPhones worldwide would be ready to be replaced by new devices, according to Wedbush Securities estimates. According to various reports, Apple has ordered 75 million units of the new iPhone 12, almost the same as the previous year. And according to Wedbush analyst 40% of Apple users change their device every three and a half years, which generates a great opportunity.
"It's the perfect demand storm for Apple, so it's really a key moment," Daniel Ives added.
This demand will not be seen directly in the sales of the iPhone 12, but will spread as the 5G networks develop, according to analysts.
"These levels of improvement occur every six to eight years. It's rare, so consumers take it into account, " says Loup Ventures executive Gene Munster, a Business Insider.
Although much remains to 5G is to become a standard technology, for example, in the united States only can you find coverage of these networks in some 30 cities —something similar happens in Spain, some analysts believe that the iPhone 12 will be the start of a long process of update of devices as they develop these new networks.
"We expect this year to begin a major cycle of replacements that we assume will be several years as new applications and a wider spectrum of devices become available," notes a report from RBC Capital Markets, written by analysts Robert Muller and Michael Murray.
For its part, a team of Morgan Stanley analysts led by Katy Huberty noted in a recent document that the upcoming iPhone will be "the most significant in years."
In addition to 5G compatibility, the iPhone 12 is expected to offer new sizes and a revamped design, with four different sizes: a 5.4-inch' mini 'version, two 6.1-inch versions and a 6.7-inch' iPhone Pro Max', the largest size the brand has ever offered.
Analysts expect the two new variants to be the most popular, as there is a greater demand for large phones that are especially in demand in China, which would boost the 6.7-inch device.
Precisely in China a good number of users of Apple's flagship phone are awaiting to update their terminals. "Between 60 and 70 million iPhones in China are in that update window. It would not be a super cycle without China, so it is key that sales in the country remain important for Apple, " said Daniel Ives.
On the other hand, Gene Munster believes that switching to larger models is likely to generate the opposite effect of arousing greater interest in smaller sizes.
"I understand the move towards bigger screens, but I think there is a group of people who have been neglected for the past seven years. So I think there is a pending demand for a major device with a smaller format, " he noted.
These new size options and the switch to 5G are not the only factors that could make this iPhone 12 a great device for Apple. The company will also make a more aggressive pricing strategy, a tactic that succeeded with the iPhone 11 and XR.
The iPhone 12 is expected to be priced at 700 dollars in the United States (above 800 euros in Spain), the same price as its predecessor, something that can be very important after the economic impact of the COVID-19. In addition, if Apple continues to offer discounts on older devices, it could be more attractive to users who are more on budget.
"Apple doesn't cut prices on a regular basis, but I think they have recognized that they need to have different price scales because they can't miss this opportunity," said Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.