Finally, Siri is getting her own spot to sit in homes and really open up her abilities. At WWDC earlier this week, Apple introduced the HomePod, the iPhone makers answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home. However, it is not likely going to be the big hit the Cupertino company expects it to be for a couple major reasons.
The HomePod looks like a bluetooth speaker, but it is so much more. Like both the Amazon Echo and Google Home, it uses voice commands to control music. While Google relies on Google Play and Amazon relies on Amazon Prime for music, Apple will look first to iTunes for music. But the device is more than just a music player.
One can ask HomePod any question and have Siri respond. From finding out the weather to movie times, how to say something in a foreign language, to 100s of other queries, just like the competition. And, connecting with Apple’s HomeKit, controlling automated homes without having to use Siri on the iPhone or Watch finally comes home. Turn on or off lights, set thermostats, check security systems, and so much more, the iPhone maker has finally come up with a device to compete in the Home Automation world.
One thing that may keep people from jumping onto the HomePod is the fact that it took Apple so long to come out with it. Not only has Echo been out for a while, Amazon has four different versions now, including one with a camera and one with a monitor. Amazon has really tied themselves to home automation and set themselves as a forerunner. And Google, with Home, is not far behind, although, they only offer one device. Apple is going to really have to wow people to get them to ditch their Echos and Homes for HomePod.
Another thing that will keep many people away from HomePod is the price. HomePod will come in White or Space Gray for $349. Wow. That is $120 more than the brand new Amazon Echo Show with monitor, and $170 more than the regular Amazon Echo. Frugal users will realize that the HomePod is priced $300 more than Amazon’s entry-level Echo Dot. With Echo already established, Apple my find it hard to compete at a $349 price point, according to Forbes. Plus, with the fact that both Amazon and Google got their devices out much sooner, at a much more affordable price point, unless something special that was not revealed at WWDC comes to light, HomePod might end up being a major flop.
What do you think about the new HomePod from Apple? Are you ready to jump on board or do the Amazon Echo devices now look more enticing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
By Cletus Dillwood
Photo Courtesy Apple