Can Apple's (AAPL) HomePod Outmuscle Amazon and Google?

However, Apple won't be releasing the HomePod for some months to come, despite Amazon already having its Echo smart speaker firmly implanted in thousands of United Kingdom homes.

HomePod is also integrated with Apple Music, the company's streaming subscription service with around 40 million songs. It unveiled the Apple Watch in September 2014."Though Apple appears to be playing catch up with Amazon and Google, the primary casualty here may be Sonos". Apple says that it upgraded the artificial intelligence capacity of Siri and furnished the HomePod with extra features to enhance the interactive experience.

Those who think the speaker will succeed despite its high price tag claim that it will be adopted for the same reason Amazon's Echo family now has control over 70% of the market: how easy it is to set up and use.

At its World Wide Developer Conference in San Jose Monday, Apple (AAPL) - known for arriving fashionably late - announced its presence with some authority by unveiling HomePod, which will be powered by its Siri voice assistant. The company also announced several new augmented and virtual reality integrations, including AR capabilities on mobile devices and VR integrations on laptops and desktops.

Apple's HomePod will be available for $349 this December in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The research firm eMarketer says than 35 million people in the USA are expected to use a voice-activated speaker at least once a month this year, more than double its estimate from last year.

The Echo, released in 2015, and Google Home, released a year ago, were the first entrants in a promising market. While Siri might not come across as smart as Alexa and Google Assistant "she" has been learning consumers' preferences, habits, behaviors for years now and doing that across over thirty countries albeit with different skills.

"If we are comparing this to Apple's past successes, it doesn't fit that model", said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group. WWDC brought us new MacBooks, iMacs and iPad Pros, plus the all new macOS High Sierra and iOS 11. Apple was nearly sheepish in mentioning that, yes, Siri on the HomePod can do most of the usual Siri things like make appointments, find sports scores, and send messages. ProMotion also improves display quality, said Apple, and reduces power consumption by matching refresh rates with tablet movement. Google sells Home for US$180, promoting the smart speakers with discounts. Cook is aiming to double services revenue, which also includes products like iCloud and Apple Music, to around $50 billion by 2020. You'll also be able to control HomeKit enabled smart home products by voice.

Head here for more information and see a selection of images above.

Richard Windsor from Edison Investment Research said: "Apple has positioned this as something that the user buys for a high-quality audio experience with Siri coming as an added bonus".

The HomePod is designed specifically with Apple Music in mind, so it can offer you suggestions based on your music tastes to help you discover new artists.

All in all, it was a big day for Apple, with more big news expected tomorrow, on Day 2 of the worldwide developers conference. Cook has always been bullish about the prospects for augmented reality, and Apple is working on smart glasses, people familiar with the plans have said.

  • Zachary Reyes