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Apple’s HomePod is dead, long live the HomePod Mini! Except we’re talking more about a retirement: Apple will carry on selling its first smart speaker until stock runs out, and will still be providing software updates for it. However, the company’s smart speakers strategy is pivoting firmly to its smaller, cheaper model.

“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,” was Apple’s statement to TechCrunch, which broke the news.

“We are discontinuing the original HomePod.” It’s a reflection of how  the centre of gravity in the smart speakers market has shifted towards cheaper models, with owners more likely to have a few dotted around the home rather than just one. High-end smart speakers aren’t dead as a category, as such, but perhaps the future of that market is voice assistants built into hi-fis from the traditional audiophile-serving manufacturers, leaving Apple, Google and Amazon (although the latter two still have their high-end speakers) to compete for the mainstream market with their more affordable devices.

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