Legacy HomePod appreciating in value over time

As first reported by the Verge, it seems that Apple’s discontinued HomePod has become more valuable, not less, since Apple shelved it. Lacklustre sales resulted in Apple making the decision to focus on the smaller, more affordable HomePod mini. The original HomePod offered incredible sound but was late to market. Consumers had become accustomed to less expensive alternatives such as Amazon’s Echo range and HomePod sales suffered. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for a high-end smart speaker.

At the time of its discontinuation, the HomePod retailed for $299/£299. According to eBay sales data, the HomePod has sold for an average of $347.61. And for new, sealed devices as prices average $432.27. In some cases, units have sold for as high as $638.76.

HomePod sales data, eBay via Macrumors

EU says tech companies must support USB C

In yet further intervention, the EU has advanced its proposed legislation that would require device makers to implement USB C. Furthermore, the EU is convening around a proposal for a universal wireless charging standard, likely to be Qi. The aim of the legislation intends to reduce e-waste, improve compatibility with accessories and save consumers money.

“With half a billion chargers for portable devices shipped in Europe each year, generating 11,000 to 13,000 tonnes of e-waste, a single charger for mobile phones and other small and medium electronic devices would benefit everyone,” said the EU’s Alex Agius Saliba. “Ot will help the environment, further help the re-use of old electronics, save money, and reduce unnecessary costs and inconvenience for both businesses and consumers.”

Alex Agius Saliba Via Apple Insider

The legislation has now been advanced to the EU parliament. The parliament will vote on the proposal in May 2022. If it passes, the parliament will work with individual EU legislators on the final implementation of the rules.

The AppleTLDR Take

The EU’s efforts are noble but misguided. The legislation while not explicitly aimed at Apple in its wording, in practice that is exactly what it does. The iPhone and many Apple accessories such as AirPods use the firm’s proprietary lightning connector. By contrast, the overwhelming majority of Android devices use USB C. But if the EU aims to reduce e-waste, then this legislation has the potential to do the opposite. Apple enjoys as much as 50% market share in some countries and there are billions of lightning enabled devices in the market. And many billions more cables, chargers and third-party accessories.

Apple’s MagSafe charger via Unsplash

This legislation only works if it focuses on targeting new entrants to the market. Otherwise, there will be billions of tons of Apple e-waste. And given that the EU have no jurisdiction outside of its member states, the rules won’t even apply to every European country. Apple is unlikely to even comply. Instead, rumours suggest they will side-step the EU and go all-in on wireless charging which would circumnavigate the legislation altogether.

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