“Apple beat its rivals to market with the Siri digital assistant, artificial intelligence software that lets machines act more like humans,” Shara Tibken writes for CNET. “But Amazon and Google have surpassed Siri with their own assistants, thanks to the proliferation of smart speakers in the home.”

“Amazon, with its Echo smart speakers and Alexa voice assistant, now all but owns the home,” Tibken writes. “Since launching the Echo in late 2014, Amazon has sold 20 million smart speakers in the US, taking 73 percent of that market, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.”

“Already late in playing catch-up, Apple in November delayed the HomePod, leaving the field that much longer in the hands of the Echo, the Google Home and smart speakers from companies including Sonos. Even when the HomePod eventually launches in 2018, Siri will be only a minor part of the device,” Tibken writes. “Though the smart home is still in its early stages, Apple could be missing out on a big opportunity if it takes too much longer to get things right. And it’s got to find a way to make Siri not only smart enough to play the music you want but also trustworthy enough to lock your front doors… Apple needs to make sure Siri gets smarter and more useful — and do it fast.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, it’s still a nascent market. Even after three years of Echo sales, 20 million units is nothing. So, even after missing this Christmas, Apple still has time.

Echo Dot was Amazon’s Black Friday – Cyber Monday bestseller as Apple’s delayed HomePod waits for 2018 release date – November 28, 2017
Apple’s late, delayed, limited HomePod is looking more and more like something I don’t want – November 27, 2017
Why Apple’s HomePod is three years behind Amazon’s Echo – November 21, 2017
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook: The ‘operations genius’ who never has enough products to sell at launch – October 23, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017