Apple HomePod Wordmark.svg
An Apple HomePod speaker .png
A white HomePod on display at WWDC 2017
DeveloperApple Inc.
TypeSmart speaker
Release date
February 9, 2018
(4 years ago)
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
June 18, 2018
(4 years ago)
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
October 26, 2018
(4 years ago)
  • Mexico
  • Spain
January 18, 2019
(3 years ago)
  • Mainland China
  • Hong Kong
August 23, 2019
(3 years ago)
  • Japan
  • Taiwan
May 10, 2020
(2 years ago)
  • India
Introductory priceUS$349
DiscontinuedMarch 12, 2021; 19 months ago (2021-03-12)
Units sold1-3 million (2018)[2]
Operating system
  • tvOS derivative (as of 13.4)[3]
  • iOS derivative (before version 13.4)[4]

Original: audioOS 11.0.2 (15C25) (July 28, 2017; 5 years ago (2017-07-28))
Current: audioOS 15.5.1 (19L580) (May 25, 2022; 5 months ago (2022-05-25))
System on a chipApple A8
Storage16 GB
DisplayLED matrix (19 RGB LEDs)
Sound7 tweeters, 4-inch (10 cm) woofer, 6 microphones
InputMulti-touch screen, voice commands via Siri
Connectivity802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0
Direct peer-to-peer access from iPhone 5S or later; iPad Pro, iPad (2017), iPad Air, iPad Mini 2 or later, or iPod Touch (6th generation), devices running iOS 12 or later[5]
Dimensions6.8 in × 5.6 in (170 mm × 140 mm)
Mass5.5 lb (2.5 kg)
PredecessoriPod Hi-Fi
SuccessorHomePod Mini

The HomePod is a smart speaker developed by Apple Inc. The HomePod was designed to work with the Apple Music subscription service.[6]

The HomePod was announced on June 5, 2017, at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.[7][8] Its launch was later delayed from December 2017 to February 2018.[8][9] Apple began taking orders on January 26, 2018. The speaker was formally released on February 9, 2018.[10] It incorporates beamforming and eight speakers and was sold in two colors: white and space gray.[11][12]

The HomePod received mixed reviews: it was praised for its design and sound quality compared to other speakers of its price, and criticized for lack of third-party support and high price compared to other smart speakers. Additionally, the silicone base on the bottom of the device was found to occasionally damage wooden surfaces.

As of August 2018, the HomePod had sold an estimated 1 to 3 million units. It was discontinued on March 12, 2021, in favor of the smaller and less expensive HomePod Mini.[13]



The HomePod has a rounded, cylindrical shape, and has a small touchscreen on its top. It has seven tweeters in its base and a four-inch woofer (Apple does not specify Hz frequency range) towards the top, as well as six microphones used for voice control and acoustic optimization. The system-on-a-chip is the Apple A8, which Apple previously included in the Apple TV HD, iPod touch (6th generation), iPad mini 4 and iPhone 6/6 Plus.[14][15]

Siri can be used to control the speaker and other HomeKit devices, and can be used to conduct text messaging and voice calls from an iPhone. The HomePod mainly supports Apple's own platforms and technologies, including Apple Music, iTunes Store purchases and Match, iTunes podcasts, Beats 1 radio, and AirPlay (with limited third-party support for internet radio services iHeartRadio, Radio.com, and TuneIn coming in the fall of 2019), while an iOS 11 device is required for initial setup. HomePod can serve as a sound bar within a home entertainment system when selected through an Apple TV. The HomePod does not officially support audio-in from Bluetooth sources.[16][15] Andrew Faden has developed a solution he calls "BabelPod" to allow line in and Bluetooth input to the HomePod through the use of a Raspberry Pi.[17]

AirPlay 2 and multi-room, multi-speaker support were announced in February 2018, and released in September 2018 in iOS 12 along with additional features such as multiple named timers, Find my iPhone, Siri shortcuts, the ability to make, receive and screen phone calls directly on the HomePod, and the ability to search for songs using the lyrics.[18] HomePod initially lacked support for allowing multiple users to use the device,[19] but multi user support was eventually added with the release of iOS 13.2.[20]

The 13.4 software update, released in March 2020, updated the OS from an iOS code base to a tvOS based system.[21]

Greenhouse gas emissions for production, expected use and recycling for the HomePod are estimated at 146 kg CO2e.[22]


The HomePod received mixed reviews. The review from The Verge praised the HomePod's automatic acoustic calibration system, and felt that it sounded "noticeably richer and fuller" than competitors such as the Sonos One (described as sounding "a little empty") and Google Home Max (described as being a "bass-heavy mess").[12] The review from Ars Technica stated that the sound quality of the HomePod was "pretty good, rich and full for its size, better than the Sonos One but probably not $150 better, [and] a galaxy ahead of the Echo."[19]

Its lack of support for third-party services and platforms was criticized,[15][19][12] with Ars Technica arguing that it gave the device "intense inflexibility".[19] Siri on the HomePod was also criticized for its limited functionality in comparison to assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant; The Verge cited the inability to actually place phone calls from the speaker (they must be made on an iPhone and transferred to the HomePod), set multiple timers at once, or distinguish between multiple voices, and only supporting basic commands when using AirPlay, among other limitations.[12][15] Multiple reminders can be used in lieu of multiple timers, albeit with less precision than a timer.[23] All these issues have been fixed in iOS 12, released on September 17, 2018.[18]

The Verge gave HomePod a 7.5 out of 10, writing that it "does more to make music sound better than any other speaker of this kind has ever done before", but that consumers should consider other options "unless you live entirely inside Apple's walled garden and prioritize sound quality over everything else."[12] Wired shared similar criticisms over its lack of Siri functionality and support for third-party services, concluding that the HomePod would be of little interest to those who are not heavily invested in Apple's software and hardware ecosystem.[15]

It was reported by some owners that the HomePod's silicone base stained oiled wooden surfaces with a white "ring" mark.[24] Although Apple states that "it is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces", and that the marks would eventually "improve" on its own, Stuart Miles (founder of the British technology blog Pocket-lint) reported that in his experience, the stain occurred after only about 20 minutes of use on a wooden surface, and that he had to sand and re-oil the surface to remove it.[25] John Gruber criticized Apple for this abnormality, remarking that he had never seen an Apple product damage surfaces in such a manner before, and that it "seems like an issue that should have been caught during the period where HomePod was being widely tested at home by many Apple employees."[26]

Marketing and sales

Apple released a four-minute short film "Welcome Home", directed by Spike Jonze and starring FKA Twigs, to promote the HomePod, along with commercial-length versions.[27]

Strategy Analytics estimated that around 600,000 HomePods were sold in first quarter of 2018, making Apple the fourth best selling smart speaker brand after Amazon, Google and Alibaba, giving Apple a 6% market share in the industry.[28] The HomePod also has 6% market share in the United States according to a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners and sold an estimated 700,000 units worldwide in the second quarter of 2018.[29] Also in the second quarter of 2018, Strategy Analytics estimated that the HomePod outsold all smart speakers that cost more than $200, giving Apple a 70% market share in premium brand smart speakers.[30] As of mid 2018, the HomePod had sold an estimated 3 million units.[31] Sales increased 45% in Q4 2018, with Apple selling 1.6 million units that quarter.[32] In April 2019, Apple reduced the price to USD $299.[33] In March 2021, the price got reduced to £279.[34] As of May 2021, Apple was still reportedly selling units manufactured for the HomePod's launch stock.[35]


On March 12, 2021, Apple discontinued the HomePod in favor of the HomePod Mini. In a statement, Apple said "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."[36]

See also


  1. ^ a b "HomePod will launch in Q4 this year in limited quantity". GSMArena.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  2. ^ "HomePod Sales May Be Closer to 1-1.5 Million Than 3 Million Since the Speaker Launched". Retrieved August 21, 2018.; "HomePod Estimated to Have 3 Million Sales and 6% Market Share in United States". Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "HomePod now runs on tvOS, here's what that could mean". April 13, 2020. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  4. ^ "About iOS Software Updates for HomePod". Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  5. ^ "HomePod - Technical Specifications - Apple". Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Apple inc. HomePod - Apple. Retrieved February 2, 2019
  7. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (June 5, 2017). "Apple announces HomePod speaker to take on Sonos". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 5, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Meet Apple's Echo Rival, Homepod". Fortune. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  9. ^ "Apple's HomePod delayed until next year". The Verge. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.; Fingas, Jon (November 17, 2017). "Apple delays HomePod smart speaker until early 2018". Engadget. Archived from the original on November 18, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.; "Apple delays HomePod to 2018". CNET. Archived from the original on November 18, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
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  11. ^ "Everything about HomePod". iMore. Archived from the original on June 20, 2017. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
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  13. ^ Ortolani, Parker (March 13, 2021). "Apple discontinues original HomePod". 9to5Mac. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  14. ^ "This iFixit teardown shows the HomePod is built like a tank". The Verge. Archived from the original on February 12, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018.; Ong, Thuy (July 31, 2017). "HomePod firmware reveals more secrets of Apple's smart speaker". The Verge. Archived from the original on September 4, 2017. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
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  16. ^ "Apple clarifies which audio sources are supported on HomePod speakers". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on February 15, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
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  19. ^ a b c d "Apple's HomePod: Paying $350 for a speaker that says "no" this much is tough". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on February 14, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  20. ^ "Set up voice recognition on HomePod mini or HomePod".
  21. ^ Clover, Juli (April 13, 2020). "HomePod Operating System Now Based on tvOS Instead of iOS Amid Rumors of Smaller HomePod". MacRumors. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
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  23. ^ Dr. Drang (February 15, 2018). "Friendly reminders". And now it's all this. leancrew. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.; Dr. Drang (February 17, 2018). "Timers, reminders, alarms – oh, my!". And now it's all this. leancrew. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.; Gruber, John (February 26, 2018). "Timers, Reminders, and Alarms on Apple Devices". Daring Fireball. Archived from the original on April 11, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.; Mark, Dave (February 28, 2018). "Timers, reminders, alarms—oh, my!". The Loop. Archived from the original on April 11, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.; "How to deal with Apple's inconsistent alerts system". Lifehacker. Archived from the original on April 11, 2018.; Heer, Nick. "Timers, Reminders, and Alarms – Pixel Envy". pxlnv.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
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