HomePod sold out on online Apple Store as refresh rumors swirl [u]

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Apple's online storefront is sold out of both black and white HomePods in the U.S., with the abrupt change in availability arriving amid rumors of a hardware refresh.

As of Thursday, Apple's HomePod is no longer available to purchase from the online Apple Store in the U.S. More interesting is the apparent same-day stockout of both black and white colorways, a situation that rarely occurs aside from new product launches.

Apple does not supply an estimated shipping date, saying only that the device is "sold out." Whether the company plans to discontinue the product or is simply awaiting information from the supply chain is unclear. Other countries, like China, Japan and the UK still show availability, though ship-by dates vary from five days to about a month.

Certain brick-and-mortar Apple Stores in the U.S. — at least those that have reopened following coronavirus closures — are showing stock on hand, though it remains unknown if Apple is continuously supplying stores with additional sale units.

The change in stock status comes a month after reports indicated Apple is working on a smaller, cheaper smart speaker that could debut later this year.

Expected for unveiling at Apple's annual iPhone launch event this fall, the next-generation device is rumored share a design with the original, albeit at about half the size. Additional capabilities like integration of new music services are also anticipated.

Most recently, HomePod in January reached customers in India nearly two years after the product first went up for sale. Apple earlier this month began to point customers to resellers that are pricing the device at slightly below U.S. costs, a rarity in a country that typically sees the tech giant's products sell at a significant premium.

MacRumors spotted the change in U.S. availability earlier today.

Those in the market for a HomePod, and who are unable to visit an Apple Store, can find them online at retailers like B&H Photo.

Update: HomePod is back in stock on Apple's storefront.

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