Apple announced the release of HomePod on February 9, 2018. Preorders for the device will start from January 26, 2018.
The smart speaker will be initially for sale in the U.S, U.K, and Australia. It is expected to arrive in France and Germany soon. Apple smart speaker is priced at US$ 349. Apples first smart speaker was supposed to go on sale before the end of the 2017, but it was delayed in mid-December. The market for voice-activated speakers is clearly just getting started. Apple’s speaker is playing in a very different market than Amazon’s and Google’s primarily cheap and tiny speakers.
Apple doesn’t appear to have made any changes to the HomePod, the smart speaker focuses on music and sound quality, rather than the speaker’s intelligence, which is the core focus of many competitors’ products. Although the speaker has voice assistant, Apple’s implementation of Siri here is more limited than features of other devices. The HomePod is being positioned more as a competitor to Sonos’ high-end wireless speakers than as a competitor to the plethora of inexpensive smart speakers flooding the market.
Apple has designed the speaker to work with Apple Music first and foremost, and it’s not clear how the speaker will work if you’re, say, a Spotify subscriber instead. It’s very possible that voice just won’t be supported. Siri also isn’t as capable here as it is on other iOS devices, with the voice assistant limited to certain categories of third-party integrations. Apple also says that multi-room audio won’t be supported until later in 2018, with a software update.
According to Intelligent Virtual Assistant Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, Intelligent virtual assistant is a software application working in conjunction with next-generation technologies to enable easy interaction between computer system and human. The ability to synchronize playback across multiple wireless speakers is something that has slowly been added by most other smart speaker makers and is now pretty much an expected feature. Stereo playback, for when two HomePods are present in the same room, won’t be available at launch either and will have to wait for this update.