Apple’s new HomePod mini is right for almost no one

An attractive device that sadly lacks any appeal beyond the Apple faithful

At yesterday’s iPhone 12 announcement, Apple pulled the old “one more thing” on us by introducing a new, smaller and cheaper HomePod that pretty much no one was asking for.

Despite looking a little like a giant dust mite in the opening of Apple’s promo video the new HomePod mini is quite the attractive little smart speaker.

Retailing at just A$149 it’s a far more reasonable price point than its original big brother and by all accounts bring a significantly higher level of audio quality than similarly sized smart speakers.

Apple also doubled down on its privacy campaign, touting the HomePod mini as being “private and secure” with none Siri’s requests being recorded and analysed in a way that other smartspeakers might.

Unfortunately for Apple, that’s also the problem, with Siri still being at the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to virtual assistants. For me personally, I actively go out of my way to avoid Siri, disabling it in as many places I possibly can.

Additionally, Apple have gone the extra yards to incorporate new radio and music services to extend the HomePod’s appeal beyond its own walled gardens. Something I honestly never thought I’d see.

What’s missing though, is the world’s largest and most popular music streaming service, retarding the device’s appeal beyond the Apple faithful.

I have no doubt the new mini will be a banger of a little device, ideal for bedroom side-tables, bathrooms and alike, but even at a new and extremely attractive price point I fear it will only continue to play in the shallow end of the smartspeaker sales pool.

The new Apple HomePod mini is available to pre-order from November 7th with units shipping November 16th.

Reckoner had its humble beginnings way back in June of 2013.

Founded by James Croft, along with Peter Wells and Anthony Agius they created what would go on to become one of Australia’s most highly regarded and award winning independent tech blogs.

With its uniquely Australian voice Reckoner is committed to offering a “no-holds-barred” approach to its writing. Beholden to no one but its audience. Reckoner’s goal is to remain completely transparent and honour the trust it’s built with its faithful readership.

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