Apple unveils smart home assistant HomePod

For one thing, HomePod won't be available until December. Google's $109 competitor, Google Home, offers similar options. In 2006, Apple unveiled the iPod Hi-Fi, a battery powered speaker created to cast a shadow over the thriving iPod third-party accessory market.

The only way to interact with HomePod directly is to use Siri.

Apple's strict adherence to profit goals can potentially hinder experiments and runs counter to efforts to pitch itself as more than a hardware company, even though Apple generates 88 per cent of its annual sales from iPhones, computers, iPads, headphones and other hardware.

The HomePod will go on sale later this year and costs $349. KGI securities' super Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had called the higher HomePod price weeks ago, and was 100% right on.

In the USA market, the Amazon Echo now costs around $180 each, while the Google Home retails for $129. Samsung and Google already have VR systems centered on their smartphones. It enables bass management through real-time, ensuring that the speaker provides the best bass possible, with little distortion claims Apple. This means the audio from the HomePod adjusts dynamically to suit the room it is located in. Besides playing music, Apple's Siri digital assistant will also respond to requests for information and other help around the house. That's impressive by most standards, but it's only a small fraction of iPhone and Mac users.

Apple's Kevin Lynch speaks about the Apple Watch announcement of new products at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., Monday, June 5, 2017.

Apple Music is relatively affordable, but those invested in competing services, such as Spotify, might hesitate at the thought of dumping their beloved playlists and social connections. "HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a lovely speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion free music and be a helpful assistant around your home".

As of today, the latest Apple TV is the only device that can serve as a HomeKit hub.

It is tempting to dismiss the idea of a "smart home speaker" as yet another technological gimmick which will quickly be overtaken. Those two companies aren't trying to make money directly from selling phones, tablets, e-readers, $US40 web video streaming devices and more.

The HomePod is Shipping in December... Given no other context, the only fact you can glean about Apple's next big product line is that it appears to come in black and white.

"For us it's not about being first", Cook said in the interview. The Siri speaker reached an advanced prototype stage late a year ago, Bloomberg News reported at the time. Tuning HomePod for several different languages, dialects and accents is going to be quite a chore.

The 7"-tall device is covered in a "3D mesh fabric" and uses an A8 processor to process and sense various sound-related elements in a given room".

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