New model hits a lower price point, putting the new HomePod in the same lineup as small smart speakers from Google and Amazon
Apple today unveiled a new HomePod Mini smart speaker, giving it all-new hardware to take on Amazon, Google and others in the race to bring voice control into our homes Powered by the voice assistant Apple’s Siri, the HomePod Mini is smaller than the original 2018 model, and it comes with a lower price of $ 99
While Google is also expected to launch a new smart speaker this holiday season, Apple’s new speaker aims to convince consumers to consider an alternative to the Google Assistant and alternatives based on Amazon Alexa. who currently dominate the segment The sphere-shaped device features a familiar mesh cover, as well as a tactile surface with controls on its flat top for volume, play, and pause
Apple claims to have combined a powerful voice assistant with the same excellent sound quality as the original HomePod Plus, the privacy features of the device will mirror how Apple configures the original HomePod The device will not link not your requests and conversations with Siri to your Apple ID, providing some form of anonymization, and the data will be encrypted
« There are a lot of Apple innovations in such a small speaker, all at an affordable price, » said Bob Borchers, vice president of global product marketing, Apple The product was unveiled at an Apple event filmed at the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, held virtually Tuesday.
The device will be available to order on November 6, according to Apple, and it will start shipping the week of November 16.The lower price sets it apart from the original HomePod, priced at $ 299 (although it does can often be found at $ 199) Amazon and Google also have smart speakers in this high price range, but most of their market share comes from speakers in the $ 50 price range This high price is one of the factors that have limited HomePod sales, making it harder for Apple to gain a foothold for Siri as a home voice assistant.
To justify the higher price tag of the original HomePod, Apple touted it as a premium bookshelf speaker.The first HomePod largely delivered on that promise, but this positioning also helped protect Siri from too much damage. ‘Exam as a conversational voice assistant next to the top Alexa and Google Assistant
Lower price and smaller size aren’t the only changes revealed in the HomePod Mini Speakers will also work with external music streaming services including Pandora and Amazon in the coming months This integration sets the HomePod Mini apart from the original HomePod, which was limited to Apple Music for voice command streaming.
Nonetheless, the HomePod Mini clearly aims to work with Apple products and services and connects the speakerphone to apps that run on iPhones.The goal is to allow users to ask Siri simple questions over the speakerphone. which extracts responses from iPhone apps, said Yael Garten, Apple’s science and engineering director for Siri
The device also aims to allow users to control the smart home with their voice This builds on Apple HomeKit, a hub for smart home devices that can now connect to the HomePod Mini
Apple has also included features on the HomePod Mini intended to encourage users to buy more than one device Multiple speakers can sync music in different parts of a house, and when two speakers are together they switch to stereo mode The company said this would complement the high quality sound provided by its « computer audio » system, which analyzes the music and adjusts the tuning and other audio features to optimize the sound
Finally, the devices are positioned as a family addition to the home.The intercom feature, which resembles Google’s broadcast feature, allows users to ask Siri on their phone to read a message on the built-in smart speaker for people living in other rooms to hear it The recipient can also resend a HomePod Mini voicemail message can also tell the difference between the voices of different household members and customize the responses back
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Apple, HomePod, Smart Speaker, iPod mini, iPhone, Siri
World News – US – Apple Launches HomePod Mini Smart Speaker for $ 99
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