At the WWDC Keynote this week, Apple announced what we all knew they would sooner or later: they are joining the home assistant device market next to the Amazon Echo and Google Home with a device they’re calling the HomePod.
It seems there isn’t really a place for yet another home assistant. Then again, it seems like a field that Apple is well-suited for. We asked our writers, “What will happen now that Apple is joining the home assistant market?”
Corbin doesn’t think the home assistant market will be “terribly disrupted” at all. From what he saw during the announcement, “HomePod is portrayed mainly as a speaker for the home,” while it also has a limited version of Siri built in.
He doesn’t feel having Siri would matter that much since it can be used in so many other Apple devices. He figures the music will sound better on the HomePod and to have Siri on there as well “will just be a mere extension of what has already been accomplished on Apple’s other devices.” He believes the market will continue to grow and evolve.
Jeffry figures with “the narrow niche of the home assistant,” that “Apple’s foray into the market won’t have as much impact as the iPhone or Apple Watch.” However, once the loyal Apple users are figured in, he realizes it might turn from niche into mainstream.
Yet he also believes that the rest of the world sees the home assistant as “an obscure item that nobody really needs.” He figures that’s why Apple is promoting the HomePod as more of a speaker, so that more people will buy it. In a perfect world in the future, he believes home assistant devices could become more mainstream.
While admittedly not being an expert on Apple products nor home assistant devices, Ada thinks even if Apple doesn’t make a “splash” with the home assistant market, “they will leave their print for sure,” as they have with many other new products. She thinks the market will see “some rapid development now, and maybe other big companies will try their luck” as well, noting that many others already have, making her wonder if Apple is too late.
Trevor thinks that since Apple isn’t “leading everyone into a new niche; they will need to find a hook.” He realizes they’ll be integrating their “iBubble of things (iTunes, iCloud, etc.),” but he’s interested to see how they innovate with this device. He’s still waiting to see Apple “integrate with an automatic vehicle in the future.”
Charnita doesn’t think this device will matter at all. People will continue to buy the more lower-priced options, making her joke that “Apple will have a good cry about it and move on to another project.” She also doesn’t see it as competition for the Echo or Home, as she’s still drawn to those over the HomePod. However, she believes the genre as a whole has “a great future since they’re very convenient and help to boost productivity.”
Ryan sees “Apple’s leap into the home assistant market” as “just another example of Apple lagging behind the competition.” While they used to be “synonymous with innovation,” in recent years “they have seemed content with snazzy design rather than innovating products.” He figures it will be of interest to Apple fans but probably not anyone else. Until they can bring new functionality or innovation, he’s “going to rate [his] excitement level with a yawn.” Fabio seems to agree.
I’ve used nothing but Apple since 1988, so of course any new Apple product is exciting to me. But I will agree that it’s not very innovative. However, because it would connect easily with my other Apple products (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV), I’d be likely to try it out. Currently I have a portable speaker that I move around with me, but I could see getting a HomePod. I’m not worried about it only being a speaker, as if I know Apple, they’ll just keep on improving it until they surpass the other home assistants.
Do you have an opinion on Apple’s HomePod or even the home assistant market as a whole? Do you agree with some writers that it’s really not big news at all? Can you see the value of a device that is mostly a speaker but dabbles in assisting you? What will happen now that Apple is joining the home assistant market? Add your thoughts into the comments section below and join our conversation!
Image Credit: Apple