“Consultancy Accenture has just released a survey that might disturb those for whom the phone means so much and are a touch behind in the smart speaker stakes,” Chris Matyszczyk reports for CNET. “You know, the likes of Apple and Samsung.”

“The survey examined human feelings around several new areas of technology. One question, however, asked whether those who had bought smart speakers were using their phones for fewer activities,” Matyszczyk reports. “Stunningly, 66 percent of the 2,271 people who answered this question agreed they were or strongly agreed. More precisely, 64 percent said they used phones less for entertainment services, 58 percent said they made fewer online purchases on their phones, and 56 percent said they used their phones less for general searches.”

“Apple says it will finally release its HomePod speaker this year. But I imagine that it will be less of an Alexa-style factotum and more of a music device,” Matyszczyk reports. “Research suggests there are up to 19 million Amazon Echos already out there. Accenture projects that by the end of this year, 37 percent of US households will have at least one smart speaker… Personally, I find the current smart speakers so painfully unattractive that I wouldn’t like to see one in my house, never mind talk to one. The HomePod at least looks like a decent house guest.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Unsurprising. We use our iPhones noticeably less since we first strapped Apple Watches to our wrists back on April 24, 2015. (We still think that Siri works better on Apple Watch than on iPhone. Whether that’s psychological – we gave up on Siri numerous times after it failed so regularly on our iPhones – or not doesn’t matter; we use Siri on our Apple Watch (and Apple TV) units much more than on our iPhones.)

With 37% of U.S. households projected to have a smart speaker by the end of this year, there is still time for Apple to get into the race and take ownership of the high-end; meaning: the coveted customers who have disposable income and the proven will to spend it. Apple’s missing Christmas was a big mistake, but not one that can’t be overcome eventually, but it’ll likely take a lot of time and effort to convert those already lost to other ecosystems (see the millions still using Samsung’s dog-slow Android phones because Apple was two years late to the market with properly-sized smartphones).

Plus, Apple self-inflicted a double whammy upon themselves by missing Christmas with HomePod: Those who bought a competitor’s smart speaker and signed up for a music streaming streaming service not named Apple Music, making it far more difficult to convert them to HomePod and Apple Music whenever Apple gets around to shipping.

Apple’s delayed HomePod comes with raised expectations and stiffer competition – January 5, 2018
Apple preps Siri for the HomePod, now streams a news podcast when asked for ‘news’ – January 4, 2018
Missing Christmas: HomePod delay coupled with new competition amplifies Apple’s smart speaker challenge – January 2, 2018
Apple CEO Tim Cook paid close to $102 million for fiscal 2017 – December 28, 2017
Apple’s Phil Schiller: We feel bad about the HomePod delay – December 8, 2017
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
Under ‘operations genius’ Tim Cook, product delays and other problems are no longer unusual for Apple – November 20, 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
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Apple is misplaying the hand Steve Jobs left them – November 30, 2016
Apple delays AirPod rollout – October 26, 2016
Apple delays release of watchOS 2 due to bug – September 16, 2015
Apple delays HomeKit launch until autumn – May 14, 2015
Apple delays production of 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’ in face of overwhelming iPhone 6/Plus demand – October 9, 2014
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013