Third-party retailers have often offered discounts on HomePod, but it's the first official price drop from the mothership. Apple typically doesn't cut prices on products part-way through their life cycle. The HomePod arrived only 14 months ago.
The move could entice more people to buy a HomePod, though it's competing with many other recognizable brands at both its bracket and lower price points. Speakers from Amazon and Google (save for the $399 Google Home Max) are all less expensive, while Sonos has a number of products that are cheaper than HomePod. Soon after Apple started shipping HomePod, reports suggested sales were sluggish.
While HomePod might sound great, it's a little more limited than other speakers. You can, for instance, connect seven Echo Dots to a smart home network for the same price as a single HomePod, while Alexa and Google Assistant are more open than Siri.