The Black Friday sales season is coming! These deals are the best available right now, but the coming weeks may bring even better value across a wider range of products.
The HomePod mini is here - well it will be next month, anyway. Apple's new Siri-enabled smart speaker is much more affordable than the original, and has been pitched as a direct competitor to the 4th-gen Amazon Echo Dot and Google's Nest Audio.
Here's all the info you need to get your hands on one come release day.
When is the HomePod mini release date?
The HomePod mini was unveiled at Apple's iPhone 12-themed event on 13 October. Pre-orders will be live on 6 November, ahead of the device going on sale on 16 November.
How much does the HomePod mini cost?
The HomePod mini is a pint-sized version of the original HomePod that debuted in 2018, and that's reflected in the price. It will cost £89.99/US$99.99, making it identically-priced to Amazon's recently-unveiled Echo 4.
Despite being a very different form factor, the Google Nest Audio will also set you back £89.99/US$99.99, putting the three products in direct competition.
Where to pre-order the HomePod mini
As you might expect, the HomePod mini will be available to pre-order on 6 November from the Apple website in the UK and US. Apple is yet to confirm which third-party retailers will stock the device, but we'd expect it to be the following in the UK:
- Currys PC World
- John Lewis
- EE - the original HomePod is available to add to your existing EE phone contract, and it'll likely be a similar story for the mini
In the US, the following are likely candidates:
Amazon is among the most popular electronics retailers, but there's little chance of them stocking the HomePod mini as it's in direct competition to the company's Echo line.
What is the HomePod mini?
The HomePod mini is essentially an affordable version of the regular HomePod that Apple first unveiled in February 2018. However, despite being covered in the same mesh fabric as the original, it's much smaller and sports a more spherical design.
Powered by Apple's voice assistant Siri, the HomePod mini will be able to recognise multiple voices to give personalised results, as well as offering a wealth of smart home functionality. There's even deeper integration with the iPhone, while the device can form part of an Intercom system throughout the home.
Despite the smaller form factor, Apple has assured us that sound quality will still be "amazing".