New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

But there are three things Google and Amazon do with their smart speakers that Apple doesn't: they make products that are discreet, they sell them at a more affordable price, and they put a heavy emphasis on what their digital assistants can do.

Apple introduces HomePod during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose.

Apple's intelligent assistant Siri is getting a software upgrade - but whether that also includes new hardware to match remains to be seen.

In addition, you can tell Siri that you like the song now playing to play something different. If Apple wants to be more than a hardware company, it needs to break out of its profit game sometimes. The device uses the company's Siri personal digital assistant that is now found on its other devices and also incorporates its Apple Music. We should consider these smart speakers on par with the first iPod.

"They seem to be using it to drive superior user experience, sound quality and privacy", he said. "And so we don't let that impatience result in shipping something that's just not great".

We expect Apple's first home AI product will have excellent acoustics performance (one woofer + seven tweeters) and computing power (similar to iPhone 6/6S AP). But the company relented, and Apple's larger phones have become hot commodities as more people have embraced having a bigger display to look at pictures and watch video on the devices.

By going only for the higher end of the market, Apple continues ceding some early smart home turf to its competitors, despite a wide-open opportunity.

The price is quite a jump from Google's $129 Home and Amazon's $180 full-sized Echo. But it's a lot cheaper than the iPhone, which starts at US$649 (RM2,762) and is now the main way people access Siri. But Apple says the device is able to scan the room it's in for optimal audio output. HomePod, Apple Music and Siri deliver the best music experience in the home that streams ad-free directly to HomePod. Its smart home platform, HomeKit, has received regular updates over the past few years, from support for new types of products to a built-in home control app on iOS.


Also in typical Apple fashion, it's pricing itself above the competition. "If we are comparing this to Apple's past successes, it doesn't fit that model", said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group.

The HomePod will use its internal microphones to pick up voice commands and uses the same processor chip as the iPhone to pump out "spatially aware" sound, Apple said.

And Apple Watch is bringing Siri front and center. Federighi highlighted stories about Iceland after a search in Safari for holidays to the island.

Even so, Apple made a point of touting the device's spacial awareness. Developers are being given tools to place 3D images of objects in the iPhone camera's field of view.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has stressed the importance of Apple's services business, predicting it will double in size by 2021.

APPLE has revealed a host of new products at WWDC 2017 and here's everything you need to know.

Back in 2015 Amazon stopped selling Apple TV units though its online store, including through third-party listings, in a bid to boost sales of its own Fire TV devices.

Taking direct aim at services like those provided by PayPal Holdings Inc, Apple also debuted peer-to-peer payments for Apple Pay in which users will be able to send money through the Messages app on iPhones.

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