Apple HomePod - Things to know about the Wi-Fi speakers with Siri

However, Apple insists that its HomePod speakers won't be competing directly against the likes of the aforesaid.

It's certainly a major paint point: A user can only access select apps pre-approved by Apple using Siri. Amazon and Google took the techie, smart-gadget route, which is perfectly fine.

"Just like the iPod reinvented music in our pockets, HomePod is going to reinvent music in our homes", said Apple's head of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.

But at US$349 (S$480) in the US, the HomePod is almost twice as expensive as the Echo (US$179.99) and three times the price of the Google Home (US$109).

Tech reviewers, analysts, and Apple fans have started falling heads over heels in love with the HomePod. At the Wired Business Conference today in New York City, the exec behind Alexa-Amazon's SVP of Devices David Limp-explained how he thinks Apple's connected speaker fits into the landscape.

In the case of Apple's HomePod, though, you'll only have one choice: Apple Music. And the result is quite evident; a comparison of the audio qualities of HomePod and Amazon Echo will definitely bring out some clear differences, with the former topping the chart in most of the charts.

With HomePod, Apple is also offering some robust personal security features, which should work to its advantage, both Husson and Ask suggest.

Apple-designed A8 chip is what powers these speakers for a good performance and being innovative with the audio functionality. Apple claims that the device will "reinvent" listening to home music, however it remains to be seen whether Apple's admittedly late entry will make much of a dent in the burgeoning home Bluetooth speaker industry.

Google and Amazon are both miles ahead in terms of product development, user familiarity and even basic capabilities. The Amazon Echo and Google Home are under $200, but Apple folks argue that the higher price tag is worth it. Amazon's (AMZN) record-breaking Echo speaker, which it can't make fast enough, and Google's (GOOGL) Home speaker were top dogs in a new category. The second objective would be to lock customers into Apple developed services since Google and Amazon don't provide a platform to play the company's music.

More than 35 million people in the United States are predicted to use a voice-activated speaker at least once a month this year, according to research firm eMarketer. Although Siri does support a narrow set of third party voice actions on iOS devices, it's unclear whether these will be accessible on HomePod.

HomePod will initially be available from December in the UK, US and Australia.

While it may sound weird, unlike Amazon and Google who proudly boast about the various things that their speakers can do, Apple has chose to position HomePod as a music primary device.

  • Arturo Norris