What Happened To Apple’s Homepod, the Answer To The Amazon Echo?
Amazon’s Echo or Echo Dot has ruled the smart home speaker market since 2014 and currently maintains a 70 percent market share in the United States alone. Not even Google Home with its much touted Google Assistant could challenge the Echo’s claim to the throne. So, when rumors about Apple working on their own smart speaker emerged, there was a lot of excitement and talk of a possible dethroning of Amazon Echo. When Apple finally unveiled the HomePod, the disappointment was palpable.
Bells And Whistles
Good audio is hard to find. The HomePod actually delivers as far as quality hardware is concerned; it’s just that the speaker is not as disruptive as people expected. Its bell’s and whistles include spatial awareness sensors, seven tweeters, a high-excursion woofer, six-microphones, and an Apple designed A8 chip. The speaker provides an immersive audio experience thanks to software that allows for real-time acoustic modeling, audio beamforming, echo cancellation and more. There are many reasons why this great sounding speaker hasn’t made much of a dent in the smart home speaker industry.
Why Don’t People Buy The HomePod?
Price is the first obvious reason why the HomePod has not developed a solid following like other Apple products. An Amazon Echo costs about $ 100 on Amazon while a Google Home speaker goes for about the same price. But you have to fork out about $300 for a HomePod at Best Buy. If you are not turned off by the price, then the HomePod’s limited smart device ecosystem will do the trick.
You see devices like the Echo and the Google Home can work or pair with a variety of third party smart home devices. These include third party devices such as smart sockets, smart light bulbs, smart cameras and more. However, when Apple launched the HomePod, it could only pair with Apple’s Homekit smart devices. That means that you could not use the voice control feature in the HomePod to control devices that were not within the Apple ecosystem. This remains mostly true to this day.
The HomePod’s Apple voice assistant is just as good as or slightly better than Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Since consumers in the smart home market are more interested in a device that enhances the smart home experience rather than just a great speaker, the slightly better Apple voice assistant is not a great selling point to them. They expected something that would revolutionize how people used voice assistants to control devices, not just high-end or premium hardware. Maybe for this reason, the HomePod remains mostly enticing to people who love Apple devices. Besides, Apple may have a new and better version on the way.