Apple has today announced the brand new HomePod, second generation. The new model is available from today in either white and midnight costing $299 in the US and £299 in the UK. The first deliveries to customers will begin Friday 3rd February. In terms of design, it is pretty much identical to the HomePod that Apple discontinued back in March 2021.
The design is better described as a larger HomePod mini, as the top screen no longer sits on top of the HomePod, rather sat below the mesh, just like the HomePod mini. The top screen doesnt do anything extra from other HomePod devices, it’s a place to control the media and invoke Siri without speaking. Inside, there are is a four-inch high-excursion woofer, five tweeters, four microphones, an S7 chip from the Apple Watch Series 7 to power everything, which is changed from the A8 chip used in the first generation from the iPhone 6. We also now get a U1 chip for Ultra Wideband features and support for Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos.
Apple has also brought the HomePod up to date with the HomePod mini, by adding support for Matter, Thread as well as new temperature and humidity sensors which will be exposed to HomeKit with iOS 16.3. The existing HomePod mini will get support for these sensors with the same update, those sensors have always been in the HomePod mini since launch, but Apple is only now activating them.
Availability for the HomePod second generation will be in the e United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom. It is on sale now for $299/£299 and Apple is still selling the HomePod mini for $99 in the US and now £99 in the UK, which is up from £89 it has been lately, even from Apple direct.