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HomePod
Apple HomePod Wordmark.png
An Apple HomePod speaker .png
A white HomePod on display at WWDC 2017
Developer Apple Inc.
Manufacturer
Type Smart speaker
Release date
Introductory price US$349
CA$449
GB£319
A$499
Units sold 1-3 million[2][3]
Operating system Custom
System-on-chip used Apple A8
MemoryGB LPDDR3 RAM
Storage 16 GB
Display 272 x 340 LED matrix
Sound 7 tweeters, 4-inch (10 cm) woofer, 6 microphones
Input Multi-touch screen, voice commands via Siri
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0
Direct peer-to-peer access from iPhone 5S or later; iPad Pro, iPad (2017), iPad Air, iPad Mini 2 or later; or iPod Touch (6th generation); devices running iOS 11.2.5 or later[citation needed]
Dimensions 6.8 in × 5.6 in (170 mm × 140 mm)
Weight 5.5 lb (2.5 kg)
Website apple.com/homepod/

HomePod is a smart speaker developed by Apple Inc. It was announced on June 5, 2017,[4] at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference,[5] and originally scheduled for release in December 2017.[5] The release date slipped to early 2018.[6][7][8] Apple ultimately began taking preorders on January 26 (having announced them three days earlier), and the first orders began arriving on February 9.[9] It was initially released in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States and was released in Canada, France, and Germany on June 18, 2018.[10]. It is available in two colors: White and Space Gray.[11]

Specifications[edit]

The HomePod has a rounded, cylindrical shape, and has a small touchscreen on its top. It has seven tweeters in its base and a four-inch woofer (Apple does not specify Hz frequency range) towards the top, as well as six microphones used for voice control and acoustic optimization.[12][13][14][15]

The device runs an iOS variation known as "audioOS"[16] and features an Apple A8 system-on-chip.[13][14] It integrates Siri, which can be used to control the speaker and other HomeKit devices, and can be used to conduct text messaging and voice calls from an iPhone. The HomePod supports only proprietary Apple platforms and technologies, including Apple Music, iTunes Store purchases and Match, iTunes podcasts, Beats 1 radio, and AirPlay, while an iOS 11 device is required for initial setup. The HomePod does not officially support Bluetooth audio.[17][14] AirPlay 2 and multi-room, multi-speaker support was initially announced, but not included in the February 2018 release. Andrew Faden of Akamai has developed a solution he calls "BabelPod" to allow line in and bluetooth input to the HomePod through the use of a Raspberry Pi.[18]

Greenhouse gas emissions for the HomePod are 146 kg CO2e.[19]

HomePod lacks multi-account support, making it unsuitable for families, as only one user can have access to their iCloud data.[20]

Reception[edit]

The HomePod received mixed reviews. The review from The Verge praised the HomePod's automatic acoustic calibration system, and felt that it sounded "noticeably richer and fuller" than competitors such as the Sonos One (described as sounding "a little empty") and Google Home Max (described as being a "bass-heavy mess").[21] The review from Ars Technica stated that the sound quality of the HomePod was "pretty good, rich and full for its size, better than the Sonos One but probably not $150 better, [and] a galaxy ahead of the Echo."[22]

Its lack of support for third-party services and platforms was criticized,[14][22][21] with Ars Technica arguing that it gave the device "intense inflexibility".[22] Siri on the HomePod was also criticized for its limited functionality in comparison to assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant; The Verge cited the inability to actually place phone calls from the speaker (they must be made on an iPhone and transferred to the HomePod), set multiple timers at once, or distinguish between multiple voices, and only supporting basic commands when using AirPlay, among other limitations.[21][14] Multiple reminders can be used in lieu of multiple timers, albeit with less precision than a timer.[23][24][25][26][27][28]

The Verge gave HomePod a 7.5 out of 10, arguing that it "does more to make music sound better than any other speaker of this kind has ever done before", but that consumers should consider other options "unless you live entirely inside Apple's walled garden and prioritize sound quality over everything else."[21] Wired shared similar criticisms over its lack of Siri functionality and support for third-party services, concluding that the HomePod would be of little interest to those who are not heavily invested in Apple's software and hardware ecosystem.[14]

It was reported by some owners that the HomePod's silicone base stained oiled wooden surfaces with a white "ring" mark.[29] Although Apple states that "it is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces", and that the marks would eventually "improve" on its own, Stuart Miles (founder of the British technology blog Pocket-lint) reported that in his experience, the stain occurred after only about 20 minutes of use on a wooden surface, and that he had to sand and re-oil the surface to remove it.[30] John Gruber criticized Apple for this abnormality, remarking that he had never seen an Apple product damage surfaces in such a manner before, and that it "seems like an issue that should have been caught during the period where HomePod was being widely tested at home by many Apple employees."[31]

Sales[edit]

Strategy Analytics estimated that 600,000 Homepods were sold in Q1 2018, making Apple the fourth best selling smart speaker brand after Amazon, Google and Alibaba, giving Apple a 6% market share in the industry.[32] The HomePod also has 6% market share in the United States according to a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners and sold an estimated 700,000 units worldwide in Q2 2018.[33][34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "HomePod will launch in Q4 this year in limited quantity". GSMArena.com. Archived from the original on 17 August 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2017. 
  2. ^ "HomePod Sales May Be Closer to 1-1.5 Million Than 3 Million Since the Speaker Launched". Retrieved 2018-08-21. 
  3. ^ "HomePod Estimated to Have 3 Million Sales and 6% Market Share in United States". Retrieved 2018-08-21. 
  4. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (June 5, 2017). "Apple announces HomePod speaker to take on Sonos". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 5, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Meet Apple's Echo Rival, Homepod". Fortune. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Apple's HomePod delayed until next year". The Verge. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017. 
  7. ^ Fingas, Jon (November 17, 2017). "Apple delays HomePod smart speaker until early 2018". Engadget. Archived from the original on November 18, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Apple delays HomePod to 2018". CNET. Archived from the original on November 18, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017. 
  9. ^ "HomePod arrives February 9, available to order this Friday" (Press release). Apple Inc. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018. 
  10. ^ Welch, Chris (May 29, 2018). "Apple's HomePod speaker launches in Canada, France, and Germany on June 18th". The Verge. Retrieved May 30, 2018. 
  11. ^ "Everything about HomePod". iMore. Archived from the original on June 20, 2017. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  12. ^ "This iFixit teardown shows the HomePod is built like a tank". The Verge. Archived from the original on February 12, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  13. ^ a b Ong, Thuy (July 31, 2017). "HomePod firmware reveals more secrets of Apple's smart speaker". The Verge. Archived from the original on September 4, 2017. Retrieved September 3, 2017. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f "HomePod Review: Only Apple Devotees Need Apply". Wired. Archived from the original on February 15, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  15. ^ "Apple Home Pod Review". www.wadav.com. Retrieved 2018-08-02. 
  16. ^ "Leaked audio files reveal HomePod's cool UI sounds - Cult of Mac". 1 August 2017. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. 
  17. ^ "Apple clarifies which audio sources are supported on HomePod speakers". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on February 15, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  18. ^ "BabelPod: Line-In and Bluetooth Input for HomePod". faden.me. Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. 
  19. ^ "HomePod Environmental Report" (PDF). Apple and the Environment. Apple Inc. January 26, 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 16, 2018. 
  20. ^ Can multiple icloud accounts be used with HomePod?
  21. ^ a b c d "Apple HomePod review: locked in". The Verge. Archived from the original on February 13, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  22. ^ a b c "Apple's HomePod: Paying $350 for a speaker that says "no" this much is tough". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on February 14, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  23. ^ Dr. Drang (February 15, 2018). "Friendly reminders". And now it’s all this. leancrew. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018. 
  24. ^ Dr. Drang (February 17, 2018). "Timers, reminders, alarms — oh, my!". And now it’s all this. leancrew. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018. 
  25. ^ Gruber, John (February 26, 2018). "Timers, Reminders, and Alarms on Apple Devices". Daring Fireball. Archived from the original on April 11, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018. 
  26. ^ Mark, Dave (February 28, 2018). "Timers, reminders, alarms—oh, my!". The Loop. Archived from the original on April 11, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018. 
  27. ^ "How to deal with Apple's inconsistent alerts system". Lifehacker. Archived from the original on April 11, 2018. 
  28. ^ Heer, Nick. "Timers, Reminders, and Alarms — Pixel Envy". pxlnv.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2018. 
  29. ^ "Apple's HomePod speakers mark wood". BBC News. February 14, 2018. Archived from the original on February 14, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  30. ^ "Apple HomePod review: The smart sounding speaker that's just not smart enough - Pocket-lint". www.pocket-lint.com. Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. 
  31. ^ Gruber, John (February 14, 2018). "HomePod Can Damage Wood Furniture". Daring Fireball. Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018. 
  32. ^ "Strategy Analytics: Amazon's Global Smart Speaker Share Falls Below 50% in Q1 2018 as Competition Heats Up". Retrieved 2018-05-18. 
  33. ^ "Apple gains a foothold in the smart speaker market: A Foolish Take". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-08-18. 
  34. ^ "Strategy Analytics: Google Closes Gap on Amazon in Global Smart Speaker Market in Q2 2018". Retrieved 2018-08-21. 

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