“Tim Cook on Tuesday offered a peek into Apple’s ambitions for HomePod amid a landscape littered with smart speakers powered by Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, suggesting the key to success lies in Apple’s ability to seamlessly integrate hardware and software,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider. “The Apple chief questions whether licensing Alexa and Google Assistant to third parties, then launching first-party products like Echo and Google Home, is a counterintuitive strategy. ‘Competition makes all of us better and I welcome it,’ Cook said. ‘(But) if you are both trying to license something and compete with your licensees, this is a difficult model and it remains to be seen if it can be successful or not.'”

“Cook went on to tout HomePod’s sound quality,” Campbell reports. “‘We think one thing that was missing from this market was a quality audio experience, a very immersive audio experience,’ he said. ‘Music deserves that kind of quality as opposed to some kind of squeaky sound.'”

“With Amazon clearly in the driver’s seat,” Campbell reports, “it remains to be seen whether Apple can convince consumers that sound quality and a premium user experience trump Alexa’s wide array of service integrations and lower hardware price points.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully HomePod sells far better than Apple’s last attempt at selling sound quality, the iPod Hi-Fi. The basic ability for HomePod to play music throughout the house with multi-room support at launch certainly would have helped sales, but, of course, a company the size of Apple can only do so much.

SEE ALSO:
Apple to ship crippled, incomplete HomePod months late – January 23, 2018
Apple’s HomePod arrives February 9th, available to order this Friday, January 26th – January 23, 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