Apple Music enters home speaker market with HomePod

"HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a attractive 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".

A survey released last month by research firm eMarketer found Echo speakers held 70.6 percent of the U.S. market, compared with 23.8% for Google Home and 5.6% for others including Lenovo, LG, Harmon Kardon and Mattel. It only leaves a stable space for Samsung to unleash Bixby-powered smart speakers.

"This product is much more of a me-too offering".

HomePod marks Apple's attempt to put a stake in the smart-home assistant hardware market, an area now dominated by Amazon's growing array of Alexa-running devices, like its Echo speaker, and Google's Home gadget, which runs Google Assistant.

The Apple HomePod comes with six microphones and it has been designed for voice control, Siri can be used to play your favourite music and also perform a number of other tasks.

Apple's biggest announcement was the HomePod, a speaker with a built-in virtual assistant (Siri) that will sell for $US349 from December.

Apple said the speakers have "spatial awareness" that adjusts the speaker's sound levels to the acoustic conditions of the particular room.

Apple A8 chip lies at the heart of the latest smart home speaker.

Apple's new iMacs are getting brighter displays and graphics capabilities, which Apple says makes the Mac a great platform for developing virtual-reality experiences.

"If you are paying the extra money because Apple is requiring you to do so to access your stuff, that is the Apple tax and it is the kind of thing that people don't like". According to reviewers at cnet.com, the HomePod boasts the best sound quality, but the Echo has the most functions among the three speakers.

HomePod, aided by Apple's Siri digital assistant, will be priced at US$349 when it begins shipping in December in the United States, Australia and Britain, the tech giant announced at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. "You'll be hearing a lot more about tvOS later this year", said Cook.

Google Home is nipping at its heels. We are going to have to wait and see.

Apple has not confirmed the price of the HomePod for the UK.

"Apple has been clever in holding out on its own launch", he said.

Apple said it had updated the processors in its iMac and MacBook Pro lineup to Intel's most recent "Kaby Lake" processors.

"We launched it with support from a handful of video channels, but now we have 50 partners integrated into the TV app", said Cook against a backdrop of partner logos that included Hulu, HBO Now, Crackle, Filmstruck, Mubi, Discovery Go, Fox Now and PBS.

  • Zachary Reyes