Apple 'HomePod' speaker to take on Amazon, Google

Apple 'HomePod' speaker to take on Amazon, Google

Apple 'HomePod' speaker to take on Amazon, Google

The HomePod goes on sale in the US, UK and Australia in December and will coat $329.

Apple "can't afford to yield valuable real-estate in the heart of people's homes to Amazon, Google and others", said Geoff Blaber, research analyst at CCS Insight. Like Amazon and Google's voice assistant, a person activates it with a wake word or phrase.

Apple will later this year release a "HomePod" music-centric smart home speaker, challenging a market now dominated by Amazon and Google in its latest move to weave deeper into people's lives. The Google Home does similar things but comes with the Google Assistant instead of Siri. And while Apple hasn't made any HomeKit accessories (aside from, perhaps, the HomePod), it receives licensing revenue for every unit its partners make, which is a pretty good reason for Apple to want this space to take off. With this processor inside, the speaker is able to deliver high-quality sound as well as listen intently for commands for Siri. Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of marketing, mentioned that the speaker can execute acoustic modeling in real-time. It is something of a surprise, then, that the HomePod does not have an on-board display. Now, Apple has unveiled its answe to the Echo: the Homepod. However, the difference between HomePod and the rest seems to be in audio quality.

The speaker itself sits at just 7-inches tall, though Apple is offering the ability to stack two of them to deliver an additional boost to audio.

As expected, Apple also unveiled new operating systems for its iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV products.

Apple's AI assistant Siri was launched in 2011, and was not an instant hit - nor were original AI assistants on other platforms. With Apple's virtual voice assistant Siri built into it, this smart speaker for homes is in direct competition with voice-activated speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Apple's deep community of developers helps it compete against Google and Amazon.

We don't yet know much else about Samsung's smart speaker, although the report notes that the firm has been granted patents for the mooted device in South Korea. It's the company's strong association with music that allows it to, initially at least, positioned the HomePod mainly as an AI-powered music speaker. From notifications for delayed flights to pre-set reminders to upcoming appointments to traffic updates and what not, both Echo and Home stand out to offer you something you will need on a daily basis.

He added that foreign-brand smart home speaker systems could be subjected to increased government scrutiny and regulatory hurdles to protect personal data of mainland consumers.

Related news