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Apple HomePod is already losing the smart speaker battle

11 February 2018

The above three factor will likely affect HomePod's sales despite the huge awareness of Apple, thus TrendForce forecasts that Amazon will still continue to dominate the smart speaker market in 2018. It can now read out recipes, order a pizza, turn on the lights or tell jokes.

Other reviewers complained that Siri is still dumber than Google Assistant and Alexa, and bemoaned the fact that Apple hampered the utility of such a great-sounding speaker by limiting it to in-house software.

And despite pointing out that the HomePod's sound is "noticeably richer and fuller than nearly every other speaker we've tested", Patel said it's "baffling that the HomePod can't set more than one timer", pointing out that "anyone who cooks with a smart speaker in their kitchen knows how incredibly useful that is".

Apple is launching shipments of its HomePod smart speaker Friday, but by all accounts, the emphasis with HomePod is much more on the speaker than on the smarts.

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The New York Times: "Apple's speaker is certainly an impressive piece of hardware". Though it may be a new addition, is the HomePod really worth it? But you're far more limited in what you can hear outside Apple's ecosystem, unless you bring your phone or tablet and exploit Apple's AirPlay wireless streaming technology. But the way its underlying system operates may not make it so easy. Consider that multiple HomePods can join together and automatically detect and balance one another, and you have a fairly sophisticated, multifunctional sound system that can generate needed ambient sound, while also offering a host of other features, if desired. Cortana comes standard on Windows machines but it's also available for download on Android and iOS.

The device has two main purposes...

The above being said, the HomePod is starting to seem like a niche product targeting Apple's loyal fanbase.

The HomePod, which was released today, costs $349. The Home Max is ultimately the more universal option of the two. So while its rivals are spreading their AI into every corner of our lives, Apple is keeping it locked up in the company's expensive products.

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In terms of business uses for voice assistants, Apple's lack of support in HomePod for even basic features that businesspeople would appreciate-such as calendars-doesn't bode well for Apple's future in the B2B voice assistant space. As such, each player has its own advantages.

"But Siri on HomePod is embarrassingly inadequate, even though that is the primary way you interact with it. Siri is sorely lacking in capabilities compared with Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant".

While these firms each want to become your assistant everywhere, Apple is betting instead on your love of sound quality. If Apple continues to stick to its closed system, it's hard to see how it will ever start to win again.

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Apple HomePod is already losing the smart speaker battle