Can Apple's (AAPL) HomePod Outmuscle Amazon and Google?


Created to work with an Apple Music® subscription for access to over 40 million songs, HomePod provides deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes and helps users discover new music.

The trend-setting company also is putting new twists on existing products as it delves deeper into virtual reality and a form of artificial intelligence called machine learning. Amazon's and Google's extensive lists of supported third-party platforms have Apple beat by a mile.

His comments came in the wake of the HomePod announcement - Apple's Echo competitor - during Apple's developer conference on Monday. When away from home, HomePod is the flawless home hub, providing remote access and home automations through the Home app on iPhone® or iPad®.

HomePod uses an Apple-designed upwards firing 102mm woofer and a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters.

HomePod is controlled using Siri, the company's voice-activated personal assistant, which has, according to Apple, been trained to be better at answering questions about music such as "Hey Siri, who's the drummer in this?"

Apple's much-awaited Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is set to kick off Monday at 10 a.m. Amazon Echo and Google Home have already been claiming spots in the American homes.

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The Echo, released in 2015, and Google Home, released a year ago, were the first entrants in a promising market. But the company relented, and Apple's larger phones have become hot commodities as more people have embraced having a bigger display to look at pictures and watch video on the devices. One issue here is whether the HomePod will play nice with other music streaming services like Spotify.

Apple showed the speaker working with Apple Music, but Apple has yet to announce if it will support other media sources. Apple, with its retail stores, could easily jump in and compete with Amazon and particularly Google, which has had trouble distributing its hardware in the past. That's especially important because people are starting to access information, entertainment and search in a more "pervasive" way that's less dependent on smartphones, he said. HomePod comes three years after Amazon launched the Echo and six months after Google launched its Home. At the HomePod's premium price point of $349, it seems unlikely many users will accept such a heft price tag in order to switch over.

Apple had plenty of other announcements.

Amazon just unveiled a version of Echo with a camera, touch-screen display and video-calling capabilities.

When Apple executive Phil Schiller first announced the HomePod on stage at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), he stood in front of images of Amazon Echo and Sonos and said, "None of the other companies have quite nailed it". It will not block the ads themselves, though. Linn Huang, a research director at IDC, said he believes one thing Apple could do to entice customers would be to put edge-to-edge glass on the iPad Pro, which would distinguish the more powerful iPad Pro from the original iPad. Apple also laid some groundwork for augmented reality, the projection of digital features onto real-world surroundings, by giving app developers tools for incorporating AR into their products.

Taking direct aim at services like PayPal, Apple debuted peer-to-peer payments for Apple Pay in which users will be able to send money through the Messages app on iPhones. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. If the speculation pans out, the speaker would be Apple's first new product since its smartwatch in 2015.