Your Home: The next big thing for Apple

This will bring Apple in comparable competition to Amazon's Alexa-backed Echo series, which has gained popularity with the home consumer over the past few years.

As a home assistant, HomePod is a great way to send messages, get updates on news, sports and weather, or control smart home devices by simply asking Siri to turn on the lights, close the shades or activate a scene. This makes the intelligent home speaker market much more competitive, and Amazon may have to introduce new features in its product in order to protect its market share from its rival technology giants. But neither can quite give you the experience promised by the (pricey) combination of a HomePod and Apple Music subscription.

Apple claims the HomePod promises to mix the smart features of the above speakers with great sound quality. When two HomePods are placed in the same room they become a pair of stereo speakers. Set to start shipping in December, the tech conglomerate aims to outdo competitors with its already established technology called Siri, the personal assistant computer program integrated on most of Apple's iPhones. HomePod might also have some unique appeal to folks who've invested in Apple's burgeoning HomeKit smart home ecosystem. Apple made the pitch yesterday that it tried to create a speaker that is better than Sonos, yet as smart as Google Home or Amazon Echo. The Google Home can tell different voices apart and ties in with the company's many helpful online services, like translation.

Apple wants the HomePod to be hard to classify.

Limp said that's a very real use case, and that the differences between Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant ultimately shouldn't stop that kind of integration in the future.

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.

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

Where Apple may have the advantage is if it can, in fact, provide superior sound quality, given its stated focus on music.

As far as availability of Apple HomePod is concerned, it will be available in December starting with regions like the U.S, the United Kingdom and Australia.

New indoor maps of areas like malls and airports indicated that Apple might be laying groundwork to display information over images of those places in the future.

  • Arturo Norris