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Apple introduces a smaller HomePod

The first product from Apple in its new lineup on Tuesday was a HomePod Mini, a smaller and cheaper version of its HomePod smart speaker that wasn't as successful as the Amazon Echo and Google Home products it emulated.

To differentiate the HomePod, Apple highlighted the speaker's ability to fill a room with high quality sound. The original device was not popular, largely because of its higher price tag of $ 350. In addition, Siri, Apple's virtual assistant, isn't as powerful as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. In our tests, Siri was dumber than Siri on the HomePod on other products, including the iPhone.

Apple said Tuesday that Siri will keep improving.

Regardless, the HomePod still has a long way to go. The company didn't announce its sales, but research firm Strategy Analytics estimated that Apple had less than 5 percent of the global smart speaker market share in the fourth quarter of 2019, well below the 28 percent share for Amazon and 25 percent share for Google.

The HomePod Mini is priced at $ 99, according to Apple. This is comparable to the Amazon Echo for $ 99 and the mini Echo Dot for $ 49. Google Home, now called Nest Audio, is $ 99, and the mini version, Nest Mini, is $ 49.

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