Apple Introduces Amazon Rival: Siri Smart Speaker/Home Pod

The speaker is now still in the works and is expected to release by December this year. If the speculation pans out, the speaker would be Apple‚à "ôs first new product since its smartwatch in 2015, Sunday, June 4, 2017". It includes new features for watchfaces, such as a new Siri-based watchface.

Second, when Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of marketing, came back to the stage to present the device, he spent much of his time highlighting how well it plays music-explaining the minutia of its built-in tweeters and woofer.

For photos, Apple is turning to a "high efficiency" format to replace the widely used JPEG standard.

Apple said the HomePod will also be compatible with the company's HomeKit system for controlling smart home devices, like lighting, heating, air conditioning and home security systems.

Shares of Apple closed down 1% Monday. The pricing of Apple's device was shared at the conference in comparison to both smart home speakers as well as premium audio speakers. Since the release, however, it has proven wildly popular - not only with users, but with developers and hardware-makers too.

The newly updated MacBook laptops are now available. The new iPad starts at $649 and will start shipping next week.

Apple had plenty of other announcements. There are six microphones all waiting for you to say the trigger words - Hey Siri.

It's turning to machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, to make that happen.

Shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) (GOOGL), parent of Google, closed up 1% Monday, while shares of Amazon (AMZN) closed up 0.5%. Amazon sells the main version of the Echo for $180; Google's Home speaker goes for $130.

The next Mac version will be called High Sierra, suggesting that it's a refinement of the current version, Sierra. It will be available in other countries next year.

Apple will roll out the free update sometime this fall.

Still, the Apple Watch hasn't been a smash hit, fueling worries that the company's ability to transfix customers had waned after the 2011 death of co-founder Steve Jobs. The smartwatch promises to learn about your routines to figure out what information to display. Software updates are also expected for Apple's smartwatch and TV box for streaming online video. It will ship later this year. "We want to reinvent home music", said Tim Cook, Apple chief executive, in rolling out HomePod.

The Apple logo at a store in San Francisco's Union Square.

Apple leaned heavily into the speaker's audio quality and specifications during its WWDC reveal. It would be Apple's first new product since its smartwatch in 2015. And what will be the Apple home hub's distinguishing feature? Apple also unveiled the high-end iMac Pro coming in December starting at about $5,000.

Analysts and investors are watching the conference this year for signs of what the company's next blockbuster product might be a decade after the introduction of its iPhone.

The company said its App Store has so far paid out $70 billion to developers, of which 30 per cent was made previous year.

Like devices by Amazon and Google, Apple's HomePod speaker can respond to questions and control smart home gadgets such as lights. Alexa, the Echo's assistant, launched just two years, but it's already grown into an impressive competitor to Siri.

Still, the HomePod will be built with standard home assistant functionality.

  • Arturo Norris