Apple will launch an affordable HomePod under the Beats brand – report

Apple is working on an affordable smart speaker that it will launch under the Beats brand, which it acquired back in 2014, according to a new report.

The rumour cites sources in Taiwan, who claim that the unit will cost around $199 when it hits the shelves, undercutting the $349 Apple commands for its HomePod.

It’s believed that the firm has entered into discussions with MediaTek to source a chipset for the device, which is expected to be powered by its Siri voice assistant.

Releasing a more affordable under the Beats brand makes a lot of sense.

Apple loses a lot of customers to rivals Amazon and Google because its HomePod costs approximately $200 more than their most expensive offerings.

Related: Sonos One

Releasing a cheaper HomePod through Beats will help Apple target the budget market, without harming its reputation of producing expensive high-end products.

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The HomePod, for those unaware, is Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo. It’s armed with Siri and touts an impressive speaker configuration (more on that here).

But it has its fair share of shortcomings, and that’s because Apple wasn’t able to optimise Siri for a smart speaker, according to our Editor-in-Chief Evan Kypreos.

“The HomePod sounds so good that I can forgive its price tag, but there are currently too many usability issues to rate it as a great smart speaker,” he noted.

Would you be interested in an affordable Beats smart speaker? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.