How Does The Price Of Apple's New HomePod Compare To Its Peers?

With Amazon's Echo and Google's GoogleHome dominating the smart home market, and companies like Sonos and Bose integrating smart technology into their own systems, tech junkies have long wondered when Apple would join in on the craze.

At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference Monday, Apple unveiled the HomePod, its latest home device.

Apple is trying to hide this lag by showing off the HomePod's music capabilities.

HomePod will support HomeKit, Apple's smart home platform, but HomeKit has been pretty underwhelming, even three years after introducing the application programming interface (API). As this chart from Statista shows, the HomePod's $349 price tag puts it well above other smart speakers, but also above similar "dumb" speakers from the likes of Sonos and Bose.

The move is the first into a completely new area by Apple for more than two years as the world's most valuable technology company looks to make up for a dip in iPhone sales and new ways to get customers to use more of its money-making apps and services. The iPhone, for example, is one of the most expensive smartphones on the market, yet Apple sells tens of millions of them every year.

Created to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs, Apple claims that HomePod provides knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes and helps users discover new music. He boasted the device had sophisticated hardware.

The speaker has 7-beam forming tweeters and a 4-inch woofer facing upwards.

While many have been quick to bash the device for its uninspired design and lack of innovation, others suggest Apple is playing a different game here by offering the best of both worlds: ease of use and superb sound quality for music. Where Apple is really focusing on differentiating the HomePod is in pure audio quality. But to what extent Apple can surpass market leaders Amazon and Google?

Apple is finally jumping into the smart speaker craze. Apple needs its users to be excited enough about the product to pay a hefty premium. But this should be no means be considered an independent test. Apple controlled all aspects of it, including the settings on the competing devices.

Sadly, those excited by the Apple HomePod will have to wait a number of months before they can add it to their living room. Or make that new voices, with a male version of Siri is getting a refresh, too. "HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a lovely 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".

Google Assistant, in the search company's speaker, did considerably better by answering 68 per cent of questions with 90 per cent accuracy.

Safari, Apple's web browser, is getting new features aimed at online annoyances. BBC's Dave Lee writes in his review, "Off-camera demonstration of Apple's new HomePad speaker confirmed what the company promised on stage: it sounds terrific".

The arrival of a Prime Video app on the Apple TV would cap off nearly two years of feuding between the companies.

  • Arturo Norris