APPLE HOME POD
The once great innovator reverted to “me too” as Apple unveiled its alternative to Google Home and Amazon’s Echo, the HomePod. Yet with a price tag of US$349 (no AU or NZ price announced yet), at least twice that of Amazon smart speaker, it seems Apple might be targeting the Sonos crowd more than Alexa.
Apple made much of the device’s audio quality at its launch, pairing a 4in high-excursion woofer with an array of seven horn-loaded tweeters, each with its own custom amplifier.
AirPlay2 will also deliver the multiroom music experience that Sonos offers but Google and Amazon don’t. It seems clear who Apple has in its sights with this launch.
That wasn’t enough to convince some critics. “$349 – one wonders what alternate universe Apple is living in – a huge disappointment,” tweeted Gartner analyst Werner Goertz, who specialises in home and voice-activated technology. “When was the last time I seriously listened to music rendered in less than stereo?”
The device won’t be on sale until December, perhaps giving Apple more time to broaden the feature set.
KEY SPECS US$359 • www.apple.com 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO • AirPlay 2 • 2.5kg • 172 x 142 x 142 (WDH) • US$349 • available December 2017