Apple has officially discontinued its first-ever smart speaker, the HomePod. The company has released official statements (albeit short ones) to several media outlets stating that it was discontinuing the original HomePod model and would be focusing its engineering and development efforts in the smart speaker department, on the HomePod Mini instead going forward. The original HomePod is still available in stock in some color options on several outlets like the Apple Online Store, Authorized Resellers, and Apple Retail Stores, and the company will continue to provide software updates and device support to existing users through its Apple Care program.
The Apple HomePod was launched to all-around positive reviews and accolades on quality back in 2018, and it indeed is one of the best smart speakers in the market in terms of audio and design quality. An issue during the launch, however, was its starting price; at $349, it was way much more expensive than many of its competitors at the time (and even now), and even though Apple eventually dropped the price to $299 and some users were able to snag some units for $255, the device still gets flak for its high price point.
That high price point turned out to be a shot in the foot for Apple, as it apparently hasn't sold enough units of the speaker to justify the continued investment on the development of the product. The company launched the HomePod Mini last year, and while this smaller version of the original HomePod is still plagued with some of the issues from its predecessor (like being restricted to using only Siri and Apple Music for smart assistance and music playback respectively), it still sounds really great and packs more features at launch in a smaller package, and most importantly, costs just $99.
According to Apple,
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. 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 will provide HomePod customers with software updates and service and support through Apple Care.Apple
While there seem to be no plans of a successor to the original HomePod, nothing stops Apple from releasing a better version of the HomePod Mini with a slightly higher price range (~$150) sometime in the future. The Apple HomePod is currently sold out in Space Grey on the Apple Online Store, but you can still cop the White colour variant while stocks last.