Apple Pushes The Launch Of HomePod Smart Speaker To Early 2018
The holiday season is a time when companies try to push their marquee products into the market to take advantage of an average consumer’s spending spree. Apple Inc however, has decided to evade this season and wait till early next year to launch its much awaited foray into the smart speaker industry. HomePod, the Siri powered smart speaker which was unveiled back in June will start shipping to the US, UK and Australia in only early 2018.
The smart speaker industry has become more competitive this year and launching a first smart speaker at the end of 2017 was already a but late from Apple. Amazon’s Echo lineup and Alphabet Inc’s Google Home speakers have been dominating the market and with a price tag of US $349, the HomePod already have a stiff competition from its own price tag.
Bob O’Donnell, founder of Technalysis Research, said, “Apple has forecast between $84 billion and $87 billion in revenue for the holiday – mostly driven by sales of its $999 iPhone X – so it’s unlikely that missing a few weeks of sales of its $349 speaker will affect its financial results.”
AI Assistants are more used in smart speakers than phones. Even if the majority of Echo or Google Home users own an iPhone, it is highly likely that they’re talking to Alexa or Google Assistant more than Siri.
Another big responsibilty on the shoulders of the HomePod is Apple Music. The rival smart speakers play music from Spotify, even though Google and Amazon have their own music streaming services. The HomePod however, will not have this option and will drive more people to subscribe to Apple Music and the rise of rival Spotify.