Published: Fri, June 09, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Apple 'HomePod' speaker to take on Amazon, Google

Apple 'HomePod' speaker to take on Amazon, Google

However, unlike Amazon Echo and Google Home, Apple is positioning HomePod more as an alternative to connected music-systems from Sonos and Bose. While many experts believe that Amazon's product is now stronger than Apple's (especially its activation command) and more competitively priced, it may not take long for Apple to add features and improve its Home Pod. Interestingly, Apple's smart speaker doesn't only respond to your voice but also to your touch.

While the HomePod's price point, compared with the competition, is a "steep barrier", Mr Gillett noted that Apple has put a much more robust processor in the device. Making the most of it will require a subscription to Apple's own music streaming service, which runs $10 to $15 per month and has attracted 27 million subscribers so far.

Apple might have been first to market with a digital assistant on the phone, but Siri has been surpassed by Amazon and Google. To show the tools off, Apple invited Wingnut AR, the company formed by "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson, on stage. When it does send information, it will be encrypted and will send an anonymous Siri ID to help with the commands the user is looking for.

With the Alexa App, Amazon's Echo speakers allow you to communicate, google search, play music, etc. with the speaker robot. It will be priced at $349 with White and Space Grey color options. Whereas Amazon sells the main version of the Echo for $180; Google's Home speaker goes for $130. Google Home, powered by Google Assistant, retails for $129. It's not revealed yet as of what technology has been used for its speakers, but Apple says it will be a breakthrough home speaker.

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He also shared a simple piece of advice when asked by a shareholder what he thought of AAA's increase in Tesla insurance premiums. Which is probably a good thing, because Musk also reckons demand for the new Model Y will far outstrip demand for the Model 3 ...

Perhaps of more interest to gamers is the new iMac Pro.

It starts shipping later this year in the USA, United Kingdom and Australia.

That seems to be Apple's key differentiator. A larger problem for HomePod is also one of its headlining features: Siri.

Apple nodded to several up-and-coming technology trends, unveiling a new "smart" home speaker and device features touching on virtual reality, online privacy and a form of artificial intelligence called machine learning. HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s and later, running iOS 11.

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