Tim Cook: Apple's HomePod has an 'audio' advantage vs Google Home or Amazon Echo25
Apple unveiled the launch date of its awaited HomePod speaker yesterday, and it is a sumptuous $350 affair, replete with no less than 7 tweeters, an woofer, and Siri integration that gives it the smarts to answer all of your pressing questions.
Amazon has been doing this game with the Alexa-powered Echo line, and Google recently with its Home portfolio, though, and they have established a head start in the area that will be hard for Apple to catch up to, so what's in it for those who are firmly in the iOS camp? Well, according to Tim Cook, who sat down for an interview during his current tour in Canada, it's the sound.
While we can't agree more, Siri is not on the level of Google's virtual Assistant, or Amazon's Alexa, but Tim Cook is optimistic that Apple can overcome its "smart" speaker limitations due to the sheer power of vertical integration it is capable of, fusing software and hardware seamlessly. Moreover, he is not convinced that Amazon and Google's business strategy to licence their assistants to various audio gear makers, is the best thing to do in the field.
As you can see from the infographic below, showcasing the current and prospective smart speakers' market share, as well as the main activities people are using them for, it's all Amazon and somewhat Google at the moment. A full 84% of Echo users, however, and 70% of Home owners, are mainly getting their speakers for listening to music (duh), followed by requesting info, controlling their smart home gadgetry, and ordering food. Apple's HomePod will likely excel at the first activity, and fare well in the others, so Tim Cook might have a point that it's not too late in the smart speaker game for Apple to tune in, what do you think?