A new Apple speaker was unveiled this week at the iPhone maker’s WWDC opening keynote. HomePod is the first, all-new Apple Inc gadget to land in nearly two years, but that is if we reduce last year’s wireless AirPods to a mere EarPods upgrade. The new speaker seeks to enhance music-listening experiences, or so Tim Cook insists. The Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO made a particular point of highlighting the mind-blowing sound quality of HomePod.
“I think when people listen to it, they’re going to be shocked over the quality of the sound.” Cook admitted.
Apple says it worked tirelessly to create an audio product that was a “breakthrough speaker first.” Cook points out how music is embedded the company’s DNA. He even listed items like iTunes and the iPod. Living up to the legacy of those products, Apple says it centered its focus on making HomePod “sound unbelievable.”
HomePod stands 7-inches tall, housing built-in speakers and is powered by the same A8 processor as the iPod. It also works with Apple Music in order to stream sound tracks for iCloud libraries. HomePod can detect and direct the center and backing vocals in any song to fill a room with robust sound. It also houses Siri based technology.
For the world’s most successful company, “it’s not about being first, it’s about being the best.” That was according Cook himself this Monday. Despite the company’s delayed arrival, Apple is confident HomePod will rise to fame much like the iPhone and Apple Watch.
What is Apple HomePod?
The company was careful not to sell HomePod as a superior, voice-activated assistant, yet it remains hard to ignore the speaker’s Siri capabilities. There is no denying that Apple just jumped onto the voice-activated speaker fad. HomePod is a direct jab at Amazon’s Echo and others like it. So, why choose to undersell its capacity to outdo other voice-activated speakers as a voice-assistant?
It can easily be argued that the market is saturated with speakers pushing themselves as great voice-activated assistants. Amazon’s Alexa, IBM’s Watsom, and Microsoft Corporation’s Cortana feature through the “smart speaker” market.
Apple chooses to distinct its product as an excellently innovated sound device first. Over time, consumers may not be as attracted to the sound quality offered by Amazon’s Echo. The same can be said for Google’s Home device and every other smart speaker.
Are people after sound quality or voice-activate assistants?
It is endlessly convenient to ask Alexa for the time, a weather report, or to order some milk from the store. That is the current allure of every smart speaker on the market. Apple knows that too. The fact that the company is selling the sound quality of the HomePod and not the virtual assistant inside side has raises questions about Siri’s capabilities.
When clashed head-to-head, can Siri match for her AI assistant rivals, or does Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) really expect us to replace our home surround sound systems with HomePods?Philip Schiller is one with the Apple narrative.
“Apple re-invented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes.” Schiller is the senior VP of Apple’s global marketing and insists that HomePod is about enhancing the music experience. According to him, Siri on the HomePod acts as a nice way to help users do exactly that.
Apple Inc (AAPL) HomePod highlights
A customized A8 processor acts as the brains of this speaker. The makers of HomePod fused a uniquely designed, upward-facing woofer with the power of a custom A8 processor. It is the same chip on the company’s high-end iPod. On the new speaker, the A8 chip allows for superior bass management via real-time software modeling. It also enables the speaker to produces the deepest, most cleanest bass possible, and virtually no distortion.
Beyond the Woofer, HomePod is crammed with a series of seven beam-forming tweeters, as well. Every tweeter on the device comes hand-in-hand with its own amplifier. According the company, “this provides well-balance smooth timbre as well as precise directional control of a multitude of beam shapes and sizes.”
HomePod comes with an array of six microphones too. Superior echo and noise cancellation technology allows it to interpret voice commands from virtually anywhere withing the vicinity of the speaker. The gadget can hear you “whether [users] are near the device or standing across the room, even while loud music is playing”
Apple Inc (AAPL) HomePod
While the company is happy to mention Siri, it is clear that the Apple speaker is no formidable AI assistant just yet. That does not mean the company won’t get there with later editions. Sound quality might prove endlessly impressive but considering to the “intelligence” allure of smart speakers on the market today, HomePod might be the poorer choice compared with Amazon’s Alexa.
The i-device maker closed poorer despite the WWDC hype. After-market trading sees the AAPL (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the green, but volatility is bound for the stock throughout the week. Monday trading closed Apple Inc at $153,93.