Sonos is now offering a truly stereo pair of Sonos One speakers for $349 to directly challenge the HomePod at the same price point. And Google's speaker incorporates a machine learning-fueled feature called Smart Sound, which Google says dynamically tunes the audio to its new environment within seconds, similar to Apple's spatial awareness feature. Apple has marketed HomePod's superior audio quality as its defining feature, and some have wondered how well the speaker will be able to project itself in retail settings which are often noisy and crowded.
Apple stores and retailers such as BestBuy start selling the speaker today.
Using a variation of a Spotify meme that blew up previous year, Sonos trolled Apple on HomePod launch day by calling it the "Fruit Machine" (via Business Insider). From this perspective, uninsured Apple users basically get a discount on a like-new HomePod. "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".
The above three factor will likely affect HomePod's sales despite the huge awareness of Apple, thus TrendForce forecasts that Amazon will still continue to dominate the smart speaker market in 2018. He also tried voice commands for apps like Uber, but the HomePod failed to complete those commands while the others did.
Pricing is obviously particularly important in the Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo vs. Google Home comparison, and it should thus be noted that the Apple HomePod is considerably more expensive than either of the other two ecosystems.
Apple Music can be controlled by voice commands to Siri. Moreover, under a current offering you can get buy two Sonos Ones for $349, perhaps coincidentally the same price as a single HomePod.
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Currently, Siri does not communicate with Apple TV, which is a baffling omission considering all the recent work put into developing the latter, and the ease with which Google Home users can use Chromecast to watch something on the big screen.
However, Alexa delivers a more flexible package than either the Google Assistant or Apple HomePod. However, coupled with the more than a decent AI functionality that Apple has built into the HomePod, this means that the device becomes an intriguing purchase for consumers, even if it doesn't quite match up to the competition in some departments.
For people who don't subscribe to Apple Music, the company isn't giving casually interested users a good enough reason to choose the HomePod over other smart speakers.
It's worth noting smart speakers launched by these brands are mainly based on speech recognition of English. If you are looking for a smart speaker, Alexa is ahead of the race with Google Home close behind.
Perhaps the biggest issue stems from Siri's inability to recognize your voice apart from others. For users of Spotify, Apple Music's main competitor and a music streaming service with almost twice more global subscribers, the only way to play tunes is by using an iPhone or Mac and connecting to the HomePod via AirPlay. "Siri doesn't even work as well on HomePod as it does on the iPhone".