Apple debuts 'HomePod' smart speaker

The smart assistant speaker has immediately been compared to others in the market like Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Google Home.

Interestingly, Apple also announced AirPlay 2 earlier today, which lets you pair multiple speakers and play music in multiple rooms.

It had been rumoured in recent months that Apple would be introducing a smart, stand-alone Siri speaker, similar in functionality to products such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Touted by Apple's marketing guru Philip Schiller as the means to "reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", the HomePod is a speaker system sitting under 7in tall with Apple's virtual assistant Siri at it core.

One was a new US$349 smart "HomePod" home speaker to 'reinvent ' home audio, which will be available in the United Kingdom and in the U.S. in December.

Recode was the first to report that Amazon and Apple were nearing a truce.

Wireless speakers are a booming tech category at present and are seen as a gateway into turning our homes into "smart" homes.

Apple takes a step beyond basic speaker hardware, though.

"Consumers have now got used to the idea of smart speakers and Apple now has a captive audience to sell its HomePod to and the power of its brand will ensure it's a successful launch".

It includes six different in-built microphones which allow users to interact with it while standing anywhere within a room.

Like devices by Amazon and Google, Apple's HomePod speaker can respond to questions and control smart home gadgets such as lights. One of the most significant launches at this conference was the Apple HomePod.

Like any other Apple device, the Apple HomePod activates itself on listening to "Hey Siri". Meanwhile, Apple TV and Google Chromecast have both been conspicuously left out of Amazon's online retail market.

Where Apple may have the advantage is if it can, in fact, provide superior sound quality, given its stated focus on music. And prospective buyers will have to be content with the white and Space Grey colour options once the HomePod is released in December.

"Augmented reality. This is going to be the new operating system and that was the big news at WWDC", Gene Munster, Apple analyst and Loup Ventures, founder told FOX Business' Stuart Varney.

  • Arturo Norris