Tim, I hope this missive finds you in the best of spirits, healthy, and safe.
Even though it was out of many of your clientele’s price range, we all felt a slight pang at the passing of the HomePod. It was a stunning piece of kit. Lot of computational audio that could go toe-to-toe with Sonos. But honestly, that’s a niche demographic for Apple, eh?
I’ve hatched an idea that I believe could resurrect the HomePod, albeit with a slightly different purpose.
Apple’s latest move is to steer all your hardware users towards Apple-branded services. There’s TV+ and Music for starters. You also have Disney+, Prime Video, Criterion, and a boatload of other channels to choose from. And Arcade+. All of these services have one thing in common: their use is more pleasurable in Spatial Audio.
Now, there’s Fitness+, which includes playlists that also benefit from Spatial Audio. I know I use Spatial Audio with all of my services via AirPod Pros. But they can be a pain when exercising or merely getting a tight fit for better bass response. And that became the genesis for my proposal.
Now I doubt that you have dismantled the HomePod’s assembly line. Perhaps it doesn’t have to be. Hear me out.
Concurrently, you have a success on your hands with the HomePod Mini. Yes, it’s a Siri and communication device but it also plays music and movies in Spatial Audio, Unfortunately, it doesn’t have much bottom-end. Clear midrange and high-end but it lacks heft.
As you have touted the pairing of HomePod Minis to create theatre sound via Spatial Audio, there is something obviously lacking: bottom-end. A subwoofer.
I believe your knowledgeable audio engineers could pull off a whole new concept in how subwoofers work. Currently, subwoofers fire at the ground. And the powered ones do it really well.
But I live in a studio apartment on the third floor. If I were to set-up even a medium-sized subwoofer firing at the floor, the downstairs neighbor and landlord would be pounding on my door within seconds. So how do I get to have a subwoofer?
I propose that you challenge your talented engineers to find a way to turn the HomePod housing into a subwoofer. The trick being that the low frequencies fire out of the side of the housing not down at the floor! Nobody on the floor below you is bothered and you’re in bliss.
You then sell a Spatial Audio bundle with two HomePod Minis and one HomePod Sub. Instant dynamic Spatial Audio! Call it HomePod Surround!
Apartment dwellers such as myself and folks with TVs in their bedrooms would be able to hear a greater dynamic range from their music and films. Which would make the existing services more desirable to subscribe to and most likely retain.
Only a thought, Tim. But I’m willing to bet many prospective buyers would be launching Apple Pay in a heartbeat.
©2021 Frank Petrie