Apple’s next big gadget is the HomePod, a miniature home speaker powered by the company’s Siri voice assistant. The natural comparison here is to “smart speakers” like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. That’s fair, given that you can use Siri to control certain smart home gadgets, tell you random info, and control your music.
But Apple is very blunt about its intentions here: It wants people to see the HomePod as a quality speaker first, with Siri as added value on top. Given that Siri is neither as connected as Alexa nor as intelligent as Google Assistant, that seems like a wise move, one that lets Apple play to its strengths in product engineering.
It also gives Apple the justification to price the HomePod as high as it is. As this chart from Statista shows, the HomePod’s $US349 price tag puts it well above other smart speakers, but also above similar “dumb” speakers from the likes of Sonos and Bose.
If Apple can outmatch the latter on sound, while providing enough smarts to compete with the former, the HomePod might have the makings of a good buy. If not, grabbing an Echo Dot and a Bose may be a more flexible and affordable solution. Either way, we won’t know for sure until the HomePod launches in December.
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