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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple will launch lower-priced versions of four products this year, including an iPad, iPhone, MacBook Air, and HomePod, according to a translated report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News via Japanese blog Mac Otakara.


We've already heard rumors about more affordable iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air models, but this is the first word of a supposedly lower-priced HomePod being on Apple's roadmap. The speaker is forecast to launch in the second half of 2018 for between $150 and $200 in the United States.

At $349, the current HomePod is considerably more expensive than the Amazon Echo and Google Home for $99 and $129 or less respectively. But the HomePod also has significantly better sound quality than its smart assistant rivals, in line with Apple positioning it as a high-quality speaker first and foremost.

A lower-priced HomePod would certainly be more competitive with the Echo and Google Home, but it's unclear if that would come at the expense of audio quality. One possibility is that Apple will release a smaller HomePod mini that still delivers premium sound relative to other portable speakers in that category.

Here's the full breakdown of the Economic Daily News report, based on what we could gather from a translated version:
9.7-inch iPad for $259: This lines up with a DigiTimes supply chain report from last December that said Apple is considering releasing a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad for $259 in the second quarter of 2018. The current 9.7-inch iPad was released in March 2017 for $349.
6.1-inch iPhone for $649 to $749: This lines up with a prediction from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who expects Apple to launch a mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID, but with some design compromises like an LCD rather than OLED display to achieve the lower price point.
MacBook Air for $799 to $899: This lines up with another prediction from Kuo, who said Apple will launch a more affordable MacBook Air in the second quarter of 2018. The estimated price range comes from WitsView researcher Yubin Qiu. The current MacBook Air starts at $999.
HomePod for $150 to $200: Today's report cites industry sources who expect a more affordable HomePod to launch in the second half of 2018. It's hard to decipher details from the loosely translated report, but Mac Otakara's coverage seems to suggest it will be a smaller speaker.It's worth noting that these prices are estimates, as it's hard to envision Apple sharing pricing information with its supply chain partners.

Of the four products, the new iPad and MacBook Air are most likely to debut first. Apple is rumored to unveil new devices later this month, but it's unclear if the announcements will be made via press release or at a media event. If there is a keynote planned, invites would certainly have to go out soon.

The new 6.1-inch iPhone should debut in September alongside a new iPhone X and so-called iPhone X Plus, and the lower-priced HomePod could certainly be introduced at the same event. The current HomePod launched in early February.

Article Link: Chinese Report Says $150-$200 HomePod and $799-$899 MacBook Air to Launch This Year


Oct 6, 2017
If Apple starts competing on mid-tier, watch out.

They are transforming into a services company and want devices in as many hands as possible. They have essentially owned the high end market and are now going after the middle markets with products that aren't "Cheap" but are more attainable. My guess is they'll be offering a lot more services after sale to fatten margins.

This HomePod "Mini" definitely takes aim at cheaper smart speakers but will be a better product quality (from a sound perspective) than an Echo Dot.
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macrumors G5
Jun 18, 2017
I'd buy a LCD-endowed 6.1" iPhone. I wish they'd get rid of that stupid notch now though.

As for the MacBook Air, I wonder if it will stick with Broadwell, and thus will still get left out of the HEVC hardware revolution, introduced with macOS 10.13, and likely to get solidified with macOS 10.14.
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macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2014
Oz town, Jade City. Mars
What is more affordable than a macbook air? What i want is an Affordable iPhone that becomes a laptop or iPad, something on the lines of Razer Project Linda.
Something which only Apple can really pull off due to its tight software integration technical similarities in OS frameworks , the fastest most powerful desktop class arm processors and with the recent rumors of Marzipan, only apple can deliver a reasonable hardware and software combo.
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macrumors G5
HomePod Dot seems most likely to me at that price (vs Echo Dot at $49.99)...


Because what we really want is just the Siri "brains" in it's own product, offering to "look that (everything) up on the web." ;)

Draft Names:
  • HomePod Exclamation Point?
  • HomePod Semicolon?
  • HomePod Question Mark?
  • HomePod Plus Sign?
  • HomePod Dollar Sign?
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macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2008
U S of A
Cheap homepod seems odd after they pushed their super speakers idea. But I'm excited to see what laptops they roll out this year. I'm long overdue for a new machine. Just wanted a better non-touchbar option.
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macrumors 6502a
Dec 19, 2011
omg who cares at this point. the iPhone is so ubiquitous and they're letting QC go with each subsequent version of the hardware AND software. don't screw your bread and butter guys! stop wasting your time with nonsense!


macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
Toronto, ON
HomePod mini...? price won't be mini though. were as Google and Amazon's mini speakers are $25-50 depend on sale

You really think any smart device costs $25? Google isn’t selling hardware at a loss. You’re giving them your data with which they make money off of you and you’re paying $25 for the privilege. I’ll happily pay full price for an Apple device and keep my privacy any day.


macrumors regular
Jan 19, 2018
I want buy Air :) Even in Apple's expensive products. it's ridiculous to give a car to Apple every year


macrumors 603
May 14, 2012
How about an Apple Watch Air with no health sensors and larger battery for $99?


macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
Toronto, ON
Nobody wants it for Siri, not unless Siri is magically improved this year.

Why “magically”? Apple has been clearly investing in AI as seen in their acquisitions, published papers and strategies that will increasingly rely on Siri. The fact that the existing Siri has only received token improvements is an indication that they’re separately working on an all new Siri 2.0 rather than improvements to the existing assistant.

AirPods and HomePod that use Siri as the main UI are a hint at where Apple is heading and Siri is critical. When 2.0 is launched, these devices will reach their potential. It’s been 2 years since some key acquisitions. My guess is for a Siri themed event this year or at least a major focus at WWDC.


Oct 3, 2017
Basshead in ATL
You really think any smart device costs $25? Google isn’t selling hardware at a loss. You’re giving them your data with which they make money off of you and you’re paying $25 for the privilege. I’ll happily pay full price for an Apple device and keep my privacy any day.
A simple Google search would have helped you tremendously, before making such wrong accusations.
Both companies took small losses or broke even on sales of the hockey puck-shaped devices, analysts estimated. The Echo Dot has about $31 worth of parts, according to analysis by ABI Research. Components in the Google Home Mini cost about $26. The figures do not include overhead, shipping and other expenses, meaning discounted versions likely sold at a loss
Plus I would rather share a few details about my life to have a GREAT assistant, than have a dumb, "smart" speaker who can't recognize individual people in my house.
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