Apple has entered the intelligent speaker market with the announcement of its premium-priced HomePod.
(CCM) — Apple has thrown down the gauntlet to Google and Amazon by unveiling its Siri-powered HomePod intelligent speaker. Like Google's Home and Amazon's Echo, the HomePod can provide information such as weather forecasts, control smart lighting and other gadgets, and stream music.
Apple is pitching the HomePod as a music player above everything else — perhaps because Siri is perceived to be far weaker than Google's Assistant and Amazon's Echo intelligent assistants. HomePod owners will only be able to stream music from Apple Music and will not be able to use third party services, such as Spotify, as an alternative.
Early previews suggest that the quality of sound produced by the HomePod is superior to Google's Home or Amazon's Echo, although they have yet to be compared in controlled conditions. Apple says that the speaker can adapt to the environment in which it is placed — playing music in all directions when placed in the center of a room and directing sound away from walls when placed in a corner. When two HomePods are placed in the same room, they become a pair of stereo speakers.
The HomePod will cost $349 and will be available in December 2017 in a choice of white or space grey.
Image: © Apple.