Apple Joins Smart-Speaker Race With Music-Focused 'HomePod'

"We completely reimagined how a speaker should make music in the home".

Geoff Blaber, VP Research Americas, CCS Insight said: "It is little surprise that Apple has chose to launch a smart speaker". "It's the biggest brains ever in a speaker", said Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller.

The speaker will sell for about $350 in December in the US, United Kingdom and Australia. As of now, neither the Echo nor the Google Home speakers can be considered top notch in terms of the quality of the sound they produce.

The app is created to offer a "unified experience" for discovering and accessing TV shows and movies from multiple apps on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad - but launched previous year with the notable absences of Netflix and Amazon.

Apple revealed HomePod, its Siri-powered smart speaker, during the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, according to CNET. And Siri will be able to give you an answer. Internally, the Apple HomePod boasts of a seven-speaker array of tweeters located to the bottom of its cylindrical enclosure. The HomePod speaker has six built-in microphones compared to 1 on Siri, so response rate should be much better.

New features coming to iPhones and iPads include messages that sync to Apple servers in the cloud.

The market has seen some stiff competition in the home assistant/speaker/streaming music device arena.

Thus far, the HomePod's audio has been likened to audio experiences like that of the Sonos and Bose speakers. The two companies have been competitors in the video industry, but both parties eventually came to an agreement earlier this year.

Apple was also expected to unveil improvements to Siri, its digital voice assistant that competes with Amazon.com Inc's Alexa AMZN.O and the Google Assistant helper. A new larger 10.5 inch iPad Pro that promises to be faster was introduced.

Apple made a major fintech play that shouldn't be underestimated. That money immediately can be used in retail stores that take Apple Pay or can be moved to a bank account.

While Apple may hope that people buy into the idea of HomePod serving a different, more musical goal than its Amazon and Google rivals, people really like using their speakers for services beyond listening to music. It's also what Microsoft is targeting with the Surface Pro; a new model comes out on June 15.

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