Apple's HomePod speaker pumps up the volume on tech rivals

Kristi Paul
June 8, 2017

The "HomePod" speaker unveiled at Apple's annual developers conference is similar to rival devices that have been released during the past two years.

"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

Apple is taking on Google Home and the Amazon Echo with its Siri sporting HomePod smart speaker, revealed at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017. Siri inside this speaker, will be able to do more, to play music from the Apple's streaming service. Apple is yet to reveal what it will cost in the United Kingdom, but we expect to see it price around £300.

The HomePod will be priced at $349, more expensive than Amazon's $180 Echo or $50 Dot and Google's $129 Home.

New indoor maps of areas such as malls and airports indicated that Apple might be laying groundwork to display information over images of those places in the future.

According to a report from CNET, the smart speaker from the iPhone maker will feature a built-in camera to enable facial recognition, allowing the device to automatically pull up a user's preferences such as music. Amazon sells the main version of the Echo for $180; Google's Home speaker goes for $130.

Apple is also believed to be busy making a 10.5 iPad Pro and also some software updates for the other products in the Apple hardware arena, the Apple TV and Watch.

Observers claim that the real competition between Apple, Google and Amazon in smart speakers may come down to the quality of their intelligent assistants.

However, Apple AAPL, -0.98% stopped short of calling it a home assistant and thus a direct competitor to companies like Google Inc.

The event will also see the tech firm discuss the next versions of software that power the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

As another piece of news to be released later this year, Apple is expected to share more details about tvOS, which we are also excited about. Spending on smart home related hardware, services and installation fees will reach US$155 billion by 2022, up from nearly US$90 billion this year, with devices accounting for about half of that, the consulting firm also estimates.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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