Apple unveils HomePod – a warning shot to Sonos and Amazon's Echo

Apple has officially revealed HomePod; a new, smart speaker that contests the likes of Sonos, Google Home, and Amazon’s Echo series.

It might not have a display, but Apple’s smart speaker is finally out in the wild under the name HomePod; a voice-activated loudspeaker that offers integration with HomeKit.
While HomePod is naturally Apple’s first effort to contest the dominance of Amazon’s Echo devices and Google Home, the company has positioned the unit as a music speaker that can challenge the likes of smart speaker systems such as those offered by Sonos.streaming Despicable Me 3 film
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Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the unit with a telling quip – “We want to reinvent home music”. HomePod arrives with a custom-made woofer, multi-channel echo cancellation, and real-time acoustic modeling that can alter its output to match the conditions of a particular room.
HomePod quite naturally integrates with Apple Music, and users can use Siri to request songs play out of their Apple Music library. Siri can, of course, handle other queries such as those pertaining to the weather, sports scores, and headlines.
The device – in almost typical Apple fashion – costs far more than its competitors at $349 USD. The unit will be available in either white or space grey, and will ship in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia first. Apple confirmed the unit will ship in other territories later this year.
The move is an interesting one, given the fact that Apple has remained bullish that a smart speaker should include a display; something the HomePod does not include.
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What are your thoughts? Would you have any interest in purchasing a HomePod if the unit became available in South Africa? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA