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Apple's $99 HomePod Mini is Now Available for Preorder

Apple's $99 HomePod Mini is Now Available for Preorder

Apple’s brand new mini smart speaker is now available for preorder on Apple’s website, with a surprising amount of interest globally.

Apple’s brand new mini smart speaker is now available for preorder on Apple’s website, with a surprising amount of interest globally.

Credit | Apple

Apple’s brand new mini HomePod is now available for preorder across all of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, through Apple’s website.

This lil speaker is Apple’s newest foray into the smart speaker and smart home markets, with their previous expenditure being their $299 HomePod.

HomePod Mini is the $99 smart speaker that was announced in mid-October. It’ll be available in two colors; white and space gray. The pricing and colors are the same as Amazon’s newest edition Amazon Echo and Google’s new Nest Audio.

Apple’s pushing hard on not only the price of the speaker, but the abilities of the Mini, even with size limitations brought on by having a smaller footprint.

Interest is apparently quite high in return for the lower prices and reduced size, with Apple having pushed back some shipping dates in countries. According to Apple’s website, you can expect to wait up to a month for your Mini to be shipped. The white version has a 6 to 8 business day shipping estimate.

What is the HomePod Mini?

The HomePod Mini is Apple’s follow up to their commercial flop, the HomePod, which retailed for $299. Apple’s marketing to the masses with this new speaker, which is not only smaller and lighter, but also is supposed to contain equal speaker quality and a cheaper price tag.

HomePod is Apple’s equivalent of Amazon Echo lineup or Google’s Nest lineup. 

The HomePod lineup involves sleek high quality speaker with touchscreen tops, and Siri built in, customized to fit with Apple’s Home app.

Like the original HomePod, the Mini comes with a touchscreen surface (as seen above), with volume and Siri controls. It also comes with proprietary software, such as “Intercom, Apple CarPlay integration, stereo pairing, and multiroom audio.”

The Mini is also much smaller than the original HomePod, at 3.3 inches tall (84mm), and 3.9 inches wide (98mm). As an example, Amazon’s new spherical Echo is 3.5 inches tall, and a sphere.

What software will be supported?

Apple says the Mini will support:

  • Apple Music
  • Apple Podcasts
  • Pandora
  • iHeartRadio
  • Radio.com
  • TuneIn
  • future support for Amazon Music

There’s no current information on when or if YouTube Music and/or Spotify will be added yet.

HomePod is also integrated with Apple’s Siri, which allows you to use Siri in whatever way you normally do.

 

Apple is also focused heavily on privacy for this HomePod as well, as privacy has become a big sticking point for the country recently. Apple promises that the Mini doesn’t listen or receive any information until “Hey Siri” is heard by the device.

 

 

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You also have the option to choose whether or not Apple retains your audio recordings, which if kept, are under encryption, with no personal information connected to them. 

This speaker could be big news for Apple, which has tried hard to break into the smart speaker market for a while.

While the HomePod didn’t do so well, with its $299 enthusiast priced system, the Mini is priced competitively with the newest generation of speakers, combined with Apple’s top notch Siri service and privacy points.

If successful, the Mini could prove a massive source of revenue for the company, and push the Apple brand further into people’s ecosystems.

The HomePod Mini will be available for purchase in stores starting November 16th.

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