After “reinventing” the watch, Apple is now looking to change the home speaker game after revealing “HomePod” — its new Siri-powered wireless speaker — at its Worldwide Developer Conference today.
The device syncs with Apple Music to provide a “deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes,” which hopefully isn’t as creepy as it sounds. Users can also use HomePod as an at-home assistant, with Siri providing updates on a number of topics, from news to sports to podcasts. Messaging and FaceTime will also be integrated.
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. And as Bloomberg’s Max Chafkin noted earlier, its not imperative for Apple to be the industry’s first mover; The iPhone was developed on the heels of the Blackberry craze, and has gone on to be the preeminent smartphone available.
From a business perspective for Apple, this another opportunity to keep users within its closed network of products. HomePod will act as a funnel towards more than Apple Music, but other e-commerce options as well. This gives CEO Tim Cook an opening to partner with a myriad of venders, in the same fashion the iTunes Store brought together several music labels.
At any rate, HomePod will come out later this year at $349 a pop, in both white and “space gray” (read: gray).
Check out the video below for a look at the new speaker.