Why Apple's HomePod is poised to bomb

San Francisco: To take on smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home, Apple will unveil its smart home device "HomePod" with an in-built digital assistant Siri on February 9.

The speaker will be available in the USA, the United Kingdom and Australia before going live in France and Germany in the spring.

Announced at the company's developer conference previous year, the Apple HomePod is a smart speaker in the same vein as the Google Home or Amazon Echo.

Siri on HomePod can be used to send messages, set timers, reminders, check weather, listen to podcasts, etc. HomePod can also be used as a speakerphone with iPhone, says Apple.

HomePod, the first new Apple product of 2018, is about to arrive.

Measuring 7 inches tall, the cylindrical HomePod is created to integrate with Apple Music, allowing users to call up songs and other music information with voice commands through Siri. Apple could only watch as Amazon got an over three-year head start with the Echo - while Google's Home is 14 months old - and it now has some catching up to do. The HomePod also provides full access to the Apple Music catalog, which can be accessed through voice commands and synced to your other Apple devices.

With support for HomeKit, the Apple HomePod can operate on several home accessories or some scenarios such as on hearing "Hey Siri, I'm home", it will control accessories like turning on lights, raising shades, set a desired temperature and make adjustments to deliver a sense of the ideal home hub, enabling remote access and automation. Despite this, the device missed its December launch date.

This could potentially give the HomePod an edge in the enterprise, ZDNet noted, since many people are concerned with smart speakers' always-on microphones and what exactly happens to the data those microphones collect.

The news comes after some commentators state that Apple delayed the launch of its smart speaker, because of production issues.

Many have asked if a HomePod purchased in the US, UK or Australia will work in Canada (or abroad), and the answer is "yes", as confirmed by MacRumors.

Here's why you should probably skip the HomePod. However, the smart speakers market is just getting warmed up. With a multi-HomePod setup, you can set all speakers to play the same song from Apple Music or set it to play a different one in a separate room.

  • Latoya Cobb