A report fresh from China is claiming that Apple is working on more affordable products including a low-cost version of its HomePod smart speaker. The report is very questionable and cannot be verified as of the moment. But if what it claims is true, then Apple could be targeting a wider range of consumers by releasing affordable editions of its renowned devices. 

Japanese blog Mac Otakara was the first one to spot the report published by Chinese economic and business newspaper Economic Daily News. The news outlet apparently claims that it has learned through industry sources that Apple is planning to release a cheaper version of HomePod and its other product lines, namely: iPhone, iPad and Mac. 

The outlet’s sources went as far as claiming that the low-cost HomePod is due to arrive in the second half of 2018. Furthermore, the device is said to be more affordable than the $349 HomePod. It is expected to sell for around $150 to $200. It’s worth noting that sources are also saying that the cheaper smart speaker will be smaller in size than the original product. 

Apple’s current HomePod is seen by many as an overpriced product in comparison to its rivals. Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo speakers and Google’s Google Assistant-powered Home speakers pack almost the same technologies and have similar features, but they are at much lower price points. It’s possible that Apple is trying to do the same with the release of its smaller HomePod, as pointed out by Apple Insider

The Chinese outlet’s sources also disclosed the possible pricing of the low-cost iPhone, iPad and Mac devices. According to them, the Cupertino giant is preparing a new iPhone with a 6.1-inch LCD display that will sell for around $649 to $749. On the other hand, a fifth-generation iPad is said to be $70 cheaper than the current entry-level tablet. As for the new 13-inch MacBook Air, it is claimed to cost between $799 and $899. 

The Cupertino giant has not confirmed anything at this point, but it’s worth pointing out that renowned Apple leaker and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously predicted that Apple is updating its MacBook Air line by releasing a low-end model in the second calendar quarter of 2018. The device is said to come with a lower price tag than its predecessors.

HomePod Apple is now rumored to be developing a low-cost version of its HomePod device. Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton