Apple aims to 'reinvent home music' with HomePod smart speaker

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 7, 2017

Apple unleashed a slew of new products, software, and updates at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, or WWDC, on Monday. Expect the HomePod to ship this December, presumably just in time for last-minute Christmas buying.

A survey released last month by research firm eMarketer found Echo speakers held 70.6 percent of the USA market, compared with 23.8 percent for Google Home and 5.6 percent for others including Lenovo, LG, Harmon Kardon and Mattel.

"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", said Schiller.

The $349 speaker is created to work with an Apple Music subscription and has Siri built in, allowing the user to pick music and control the device using voice commands.

The HomePod features six microphones for users to interact with across the room.

The HomePod is Apple's first new line of products since the Apple Watch in 2015. And with Apple's HomeKit, Apple's proprietary wireless protocol for controlling third-party smart home gadgets in iOS, HomePod serves as a hub that can control connected lights and thermostats.

The market has seen some stiff competition in the home assistant/speaker/streaming music device arena. The tech giant says the speaker produces a high-quality sound that puts it on par with "un-smart" home music systems like Sonos. Apple said the same chip used in the iPhone will power the speaker.

There were rumours that Apple's smart speaker could be more like the Amazon Echo Look and incorporate video calls but the HomePod doesn't have a camera or screen.

Apple is finally getting into the home speaker business.

The HomePod, which will be released in white and space grey color variants, will cost you $349, which is significantly higher than its rival speakers such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and others, which cost around $250. The speaker also has spatial awareness and energy detection technology so that it can automatically adjust the speaker's volume depending on how far away the listener is from the device.

Also, Schiller made a point to say that Apple cares a lot about its user's privacy, so nothing is ever being sent until you say "Hey Siri."It uses an anonymous Siri ID, too, so your searches aren't tracked back to you".

The features of Apple's HomePod are exciting, due to their potential. It also announced a new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro that's faster and more powerful than existing models with more memory and storage, which will go on sale next week and start at $649.

Apple unveiled its home speaker during WWDC 2017 on Monday. You can even ask Siri about the band, its members, and anything else related to the same.

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