Apple unveils “breakthrough home speaker” to rival Amazon and Google


The company is also launching new models of both the iPad and the Mac computer.

Cook made the speaker announcement at the end of his keynote address to 5000 hyped-up developers and scores of global media at the tech giant’s annual WWDC conference in San Jose.

While Apple played up the music aspects of the HomePod in its presentation, the device will be capable of performing the everyday tasks that competing smart speaker devices perform such as retrieving the weather or reading news headlines.

Amazon’s Echo commands 70.6 percent of the USA market and Google Home has 23.8 percent, according to a recent eMarketer report. But Apple was careful to frame it as a product focused on music first – potentially differentiating it from the Echo and Home. But on this device, Siri is more than just a virtual assistant – it’s a “musicologist” that will help you find new tunes on Apple Music. Speaking at the WWDC conference, Apple’s marketing SVP Phil Schiller boldly said, “This is a chance to reinvent music”. Shipments of intelligent home speakers surged almost 600% year-over-year to 4.2 million units in the fourth quarter, with Amazon taking about 88% share and Google 10%, according to consultant Strategy Analytics. Apple is yet to reveal what it will cost in the United Kingdom, but we expect to see it price around £300.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook also announced on Monday that content from Amazon Prime Video, long absent from the Apple TV product, would come to Apple devices such as the TV, iPhones and iPad later this year. You can activate it with a wake word – “Hey Siri” – and ask an artificially intelligent assistant, Siri, to play music. Leading up to it, Apple says those outside app developers have earned more than $70 billion since Apple’s app store launched in 2008. It will start shipping in December for $349 in white and space gray colors.

As part of the announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple touted upgrades for the Siri personal assistant in the fall update to the IOS mobile operating system. The company said its App Store has so far paid out 70 billion US dollars to developers, of which 30 percent was made past year. It has been tested by some Apple employees in their homes for upwards of a year, according to people familiar with the matter.


The new iMacs aren’t messing around.

HomePod aided by Apple's Siri digital assistant will be priced at $349