Apple unveils $349 HomePod to compete with Amazon Echo, Google Home

Amazon Echo, Google Home Devices Raise Privacy Questions

At the on-going WWDC 2017 event, Apple has made one of the most anticipated announcements - the home speaker powered by Siri. HomePod is the first hardware product for the company since the Apple watch. And of course, you can use it to access Siri with voice commands. HomePod, Apple Music, and Siri deliver the best music experience in the home that streams ad-free directly to HomePod. It also comes with a seven-tweeter beam-forming array, which means a smooth timbre for the most meticulous listener. HomePod uses the company's A8 chip, which Apple also used to use for its mobile devices, and a multicolor LED light on top of the device will signal whenever Siri is listening. You may get your hands on this for $349 which roughly translates to Rs 22,500.

Revealed at the company's annual Worldwide Developer Conference in California. the HomePod will not go on sale until December, but Apple chose to give a teaser of the new product now, while the Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers enjoy the market to themselves.

AAPL has confirmed that its new HomePod is capable enough to balance and tune the audio quality to best suit any room or position that users put it in.

Users will be able to ask Siri to play songs and answer questions via the speaker.

Apple "can't afford to yield valuable real estate in the heart of people's homes to Amazon, Google and others", said Geoff Blaber, research analyst at CCS Insight.




Apple marketing boss Phil Schiller said Apple wanted to combine good speakers with smart speakers you can talk to, referencing Sonos and Amazon Alexa.

Apple is a late entrant to the rapidly growing speaker category.

Apple said Siri will now be able to create appointments on an iPhone after an appointment is booked on a Mac, for example, marking the first time that privacy-conscious Apple has let the assistant work across devices.

With Amazon Echo and Google Home already on the market, HomePod is Apple's chance to carve out its slice of the home speaker pie.

Apple is also bringing Apple Pay which will help in paying someone back through its own payment service just like PayPal.

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