After missing the critical holiday shopping season, Apple Inc. jumped in to the president of the voice of the wars with the HomePod smart speaker, a device that will use its Siri, the voice assistant and compete with the offerings of Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet, Inc Google.
Apple said Tuesday that it will begin taking online orders for its HomePod smart speaker Friday in the united States, United Kingdom and Australia, a little over a month later than initially planned.
The $349 voice command and speaker, presented in June, and initially planned for December, the release, can make the music suggestions and adjust the house temperatures. The speaker will also be able to send messages and play news updates from National Public Radio and CNN, Apple said in a statement.
Analysts have debated the impact of the shipment delays on the HomePod chances of success. Apple has provided between $ 84 billion and $87 billion in revenue for the holiday – mainly driven by sales of its $999 iPhone X it is therefore unlikely that missing a few weeks of sales of the HomePod will impact on the financial results, Bob O’donnell, founder of Technalysis Research, told Reuters in November.
The biggest danger for Apple, analysts have said, is that the consumer has purchased a rival speaker in the course of the holiday season and have no immediate need for Apple a new product. Amazon and Google cut prices on their entry-level speakers in the course of the holiday season in an aggressive push for market share, analysts have said.
Apple is working to keep its Siri, the voice assistant important in the face of competition from Amazon’s Alexa and the Alphabet Google Wizard, both of which are featured on the speakers of these companies.
Apple is also counting on HomePod to increase the number of subscriptions to Apple Music, and block the rise of its rival Spotify. The smart speakers from Google and Amazon allow users to give voice commands to play Spotify but Apple music does not work on the rival devices.
Trip Miller, associate executive director at Gullane Capital and an Apple investor, said he is concerned that Apple has put the focus of the HomePod too closely on playing music with a high sound quality. Rival speakers such as the Amazon Echo can be used for a wide variety of tasks, such as ordering a pizza, or invocation of a race car-hailing services.
“I wonder if they are to compartmentalize a little bit with this product, when a lot more wide range of offers has been proven by competitors to be pretty damn attractive,” Miller said.
Source: reuters.com Image: reuters.com