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Apple shares news: tech giant could add its Beats branding to a new HomePod

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Apple shares closed lower in the US Friday but are seen higher in after-hours activity amid news the tech innovator could launch a new, cheaper version of its of HomePod speaker, featuring its Beats branding.

Apple shares ended the US Friday trading session 0.36% lower at $186.31. However, the stock is currently in the green in after-hours trading.

Apple works to improve HomePod

Reports suggest that Apple is considering adding its popular Beats brand to new, cheaper, HomePod speaker.

The news comes in the wake of a survey showing Apple’s HomePod was only the fourth most popular in the first quarter of 2018 and has a market share of just 6%, much lower than that of Amazon and Google.

Beats is already owned by Apple after Tim Cook’s tech giant purchased the music brand in 2014. And, while there has been little in the way of dual branding between the two businesses so far, rumour suggests a cheaper HomePod could feature the Beats branding.

While there is no confirmation at all of the rumour, its suggested the potential ‘new’ HomePod could be priced at just $199/£150. That’s well below the current $349/£319 price tag.

 New, cheaper iPhone rumours refuse to die

Sticking with the new, but cheaper Apple product theme, separate reports continue to suggest the tech firm is set to unveil a lower cost but still impressive iPhone version this year.

The latest reports suggest a tech heavy model, but at a smaller size than the expensive iPhone X could be released in the next few months, possibly with the iPhoneSE2 moniker. The screen would be marginally smaller than the current SE iPhone, but still an impressive upgrade on the current version.

Whether the new SE design will be launched in June or September has yet to be ascertained. However, what reports do agree on, is that an impressive, budget friendly iPhone is on the way, this year.

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