Apple is quietly discounting the HomePod — but there's a catch if you want the deal

  • Apple sent out individual promo codes to Apple Music subscribers in the UK offering 15% off a HomePod.
  • Apple’s marketing this holiday season seems to be significantly more discount-focused than in previous years.
  • Official HomePod sales figures are not public but some estimates suggest that sales are lacklustre.

Apple’s marketing department is trying lots of new kinds of promotions this holiday season.

The newest deal may be in your inbox – if you are an Apple Music subscriber who lives in the UK.

9to5Mac and MacRumors are both reporting that Apple is sending emails to certain subscribers with personalised codes offering £50 off of a HomePod, Apple’s smart speaker. It typically retails for £319 – so it works out to about a 15% discount.

The deal doesn’t seem to have been sent to any Apple Music subscribers in other countries yet. However, retailers like Target have been offering as much as $US100 off the $US350 HomePod in the United States.

The rare Apple hardware sale comes as the iPhone giant has been increasingly trying new discount-oriented marketing strategies for its devices. Historically, Apple doesn’t like to discount its own products from its stores.

Apple’s website currently advertises an iPhone XR for “$US449*” – but there’s an asterisk. That price is only valid if you trade-in an older iPhone in good condition and get the maximum trade-in value. And Apple offered certain discounts for four days over Thanksgiving weekend, another break with tradition.

Screen Shot 2018 12 12 at 3.00.46 PMApple

Apple released HomePod in early February 2018 after missing the last holiday shopping season. The speaker is controlled through Siri voice commands or an iPhone, and is significantly more expensive than competing products from Google and Amazon, although Apple markets the device as having premium sound worthy of a higher price.

Apple hasn’t said how well the HomePod is selling, but a recent estimate suggested that sales have been sluggish, having sold 700,000 units in the first full quarter it was available earlier this year.

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