The speaker, called the HomePod for some godforsaken reason, is a 7in tall bin-like device, which can be controlled using Apple's Siri AI assistant. Because of that combination, it's priced at a whopping $349. Apple's HomeKit platform is the easiest option for someone who wants to start tinkering with smart home tech, and a smart speaker expands that ease of use - but only so far as it can actually get into the spaces people live. But this year, Apple took the opportunity to announce not just a smart speaker, but also a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, a professional-centric iMac Pro all-in-one desktop computer, as well as updated versions of the iMac and MacBook Pro computers. Though HomePod only supports Apple Music and nothing else. You'll be able to say, "Hey, Siri" to ask for information, set reminders, etc.
Thus far, the HomePod's audio has been likened to audio experiences like that of the Sonos and Bose speakers. It's likely to be the more powerful than both Amazon Echo and Google Home, but in terms of features, productivity and support, both Echo and Home will give a hard time to HomePod.
The HomePod Is, Above All, A Music Product: The HomePod is built to be a great wireless streaming speaker. The HomePod isn't Apple's first entry into the high-end home audio market - the iPod Hi-Fi is still fresh in the memory of many Apple fans - but it is the first Siri-enabled device meant to occupy a place on your countertop or coffee table. With seven beam-forming tweeters - that's one more sound driver than the Sonos Play 5 - it's built to sound great.
This Is a Premium Product : The price of the HomePod, $349, may seem fairly affordable when compared to other Apple products, but at roughly double the price of the Amazon Echo and almost triple that of Google Home, this is a much higher priced than other smart speakers. Apple has always shot for the higher end of the market, while Google and Amazon have always shot for mass adoption.
But the price could be justified under two conditions, Statista added. And now with HomePod, Apple has a true voice assistant to bring into the home.
As were the rumors suggesting, Apple was going to launch a Wi-Fi speaker and the company did that at the WWDC 2017 keynote. In fact, if we learned anything this week it's that Apple plans to leverage the hundreds of millions of Siri-powered iPhones, iPads and Apple Watchs in the market as it does battle with Alexa.
Ok, so while it's a bit of a risky strategy, it's probably the right one for Apple.
News of Samsung building its own AI-powered speaker comes, unsurprisingly, just days after Apple took the wraps off its first stab at the Amazon and Google-dominated market.