Apple Takes On The Smart Speaker World

Sonos takes aim at Apple by selling two of its speakers for the price of one HomePod

Apple's HomePod enters smart speaker fray

Apple's HomePod smart speaker is now available to pre-order, before it goes on full sale on 9 February. And as expected, industry watchers are now questioning whether the new device can compete with the market leader, Amazon's Echo. As of now, the Apple Store does not detail any accessories related to the HomePod speaker. Two Sonos One speakers can be paired up, making a stereo system for more power and better overall sound.

In some of the pictures of HomePod from Apple, it can be seen that the HomePod featured an attached cable on the inside of the smart speaker.

Apple ( AAPL ) began taking pre-orders on Friday for HomePod, its voice-controlled music speaker, as the consumer electronics giant makes a late entry in the smart speaker market dominated by Amazon.com ( AMZN ) and Alphabet 's ( GOOGL ) Google. That is extremely expensive compared to the £89.99 Amazon Echo.

Apple only confirmed the availability of the HomePod in late January 2018, meaning it missed the Christmas sales rush - to the benefit of both Amazon and Google. Even though it is a new kind of product from Apple, the company still makes about two-thirds of its sales from its smartphones. One thing is for sure: Sonos is certainly not taking the arrival of Apple's new baby lying down. "It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalog and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, handsome design that is so much fun to use". BestBuy is also going to have the HomePod speaker on display from February 9 onward. It also advertised the HomePod's support for AirPlay 2, which lets you play the same music, or different songs, in different rooms. Google's equivalent, the Google Home Max, is only available in the U.S., but its lower end Google Home speaker is £129. So plenty of options available in the smart speaker sphere. The Google Home supports YouTube music, Pandora, TuneIn, Spotify, Google Play Music and iHeart Radio, while Echo gadgets work with Amazon's Prime Music service, Sirius XM, as well as Pandora and Spotify. For anyone already using HomeKit, the device can serve as your HomeKit hub, and you can use it to control the other smart devices in your home.

The appeal of a smart speaker is that it works with many services.
If you don't want Apple's assistant to listen in, you can press and hold the top, and Siri will ask if you really want to turn off the microphone.

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