How Amazon just royally shafted Apple or something

“Sorry to rain on your parade Apple fanboys, but Amazon just totally stuck it to Tim Cook’s baby,” Brian Sozzi writes for TheStreet. “Amazon said that it sold three times as many Echo devices worldwide midway through Prime Day.”

MacDailyNews Take: As compared to what? Sheesh. In English, what Amazon actually said was that it sold more than twice as many Echo devices in the U.S. and more than three times as many worldwide versus Prime Day 2016.

“Imagine what the grand total looks like seeing as Amazon was hawking the smart speaker for a low, low price of $89.99. What this means to Apple is rather simple to understand: Amazon has managed to stuff more homes with Echos in front of Apple’s major HomePod launch,” Sozzi writes. “Hence, if you bought a discounted Echo why in the world would you want a HomePod, too?”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s target market for HomePod is not people who will settle for discounted, wildly inferior speakers.

Apple's all-new HomePod
Apple’s all-new HomePod

 
“In analyst jargon, Amazon has taken a bite out of Apple’s market share before its key new digital gadget has even hit the market,” Sozzi writes. “Sorry, but it’s the truth.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ford moved a bunch of 2016 Fiestas with a one-day discount promotion, so they’ve taken a bite out of BMW’s market share before the 2018 BMW’s even hit the market. Sorry, but it’s not the truth because it’s an insipidly stupid proclamation of utter nonsense.

Again, Apple’s target market for HomePod is not people who will settle for discounted, wildly inferior speakers just as BMW’s target market is not people who will settle for discounted wildly inferior vehicles.

Via Reddit user Arve:

1. They’re using some form of dynamic modeling, and likely also current sensing that allows them to have a p-p excursion of 20 mm in a 4″ driver. This is completely unheard of in the home market. You can read an introduction to the topic here. The practical upshot is that that 4″ driver can go louder than larger drivers, and with significantly less distortion. It’s also stuff you typically find in speakers with five-figure price tags (The Beolab 90 does this, and I also suspect that the Kii Three does). It’s a quantum leap over what a typical passive speaker does, and you don’t really even find it in higher-end powered speakers

2. The speaker uses six integrated beamforming microphones to probe the room dimensions, and alter its output so it sounds its best wherever it is placed in the room. It’ll know how large the room is, and where in the room it is placed.

3. The room correction applied after probing its own position isn’t simplistic DSP of frequency response, as the speaker has seven drivers that are used to create a beamforming speaker array,. so they can direct specific sound in specific directions. The only other speakers that do this is the Beolab 90, and Lexicon SL-1. The Beolab 90 is $85,000/pair, and no price tag is set for the Lexicon, but the expectation in the industry is “astronomical”.

So yes, compared to the typical sub-$2000 speaker, the technology they apply may just as well be considered “magic”.

SEE ALSO:
Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers – October 23, 2012

Apple Watch and AirPods in high demand; HomePod buying intent outpaces Amazon Echo – July 10, 2017
Apple’s HomePod could have an even more successful start than Apple Watch – July 7, 2017

41 Comments

  1. Amazon’s products aren’t even all that revolutionary anyways. They are johnny com latelys to the consumer product business. Maybe if they stay in the online shopping business, then maybe they could keep their reputation, but I don’t see them shafting anyone in the near future. If anything, all I see is Amazon getting…the Middle Shaft.

    1. Um… Echo and HomePod are not congruent products which will be competing in the same market when HomePod is released.

      HomePod is an extremely feature-limited internet-connected speaker.

      Echo is a robust digital assistant device.

      This whole conversation is silly.

    1. Alexa’s search is useless. My granddaughter wanted to know when lotion was first created. Asked Alexa, it had no clue and didn’t even understand I was asking for information.

      Siri gave me lots of information.

  2. By overpricing, chronically being late-to-market and a weak Siri, Apple, regardless of “great new quality in the pipeline”, is cutting their own throats in important markets…I think that is all the writer was trying to say.

    and I think he is right.

    1. Yes, I agree with you on that, but just give me a moment to help you with your spelling. You misspelled Amazon in your post, but you were spot on on all points.

    2. I have read a number of your posts, and it occurs to me that they contain a lot of harsh criticism, but generally very little substance. You call people names. You call Cook names. And you season liberally (ha!) with highly partisan political material. But you don’t often provide much substance except for links to generally suspect and biased sources.

      Not all Apple products are overpriced.

      Not all Apple products are late to market.

      Siri is improving and arguably not that weak relative to its competitors. It just may not work the way that you want it to work.

      As far as what the author is saying, you interpretation is a bit of a stretch intended to support your own viewpoint.

        1. They aren’t cheap, and may seem noncompetitive until you factor in quality, durability, overall customer satisfaction and total cost of ownership. Besides, competitive pricing is not strictly synonymous with lower prices. Market segments such as aspirational and premium exist independently of entry-level and bargain-basement slots. As for being late to market, Apple is always late to market, but when it gets there it has a superior product, and the money they supposedly had left on the table reappears and they collect all of it. Think about the sales spike after their first “oversized” iPhone. Trash Tim Cook all you want for being a placeholder CEO, but this is Apple and it is great in itself.

            1. No, they’ve done it to drive a stake to the heart of the vampire, as they did with their release of iPad in 2010. Analysts had predicted that an Apple tablet would cost at least a grand. When it came out it was half that, and competitors were flummoxed for five years, until they had reverse-engineered iPad and figured out how to lower production costs. Still and all, you are correct in stating that Apple does not compete on price alone. They only drop a price when they can beggar a competitor whilst jiggering demand for another of their own products. Economics is like chess, in a way, and Apple is a grandmaster.

    3. The apple home pod may sound better, but do I need to hear Siri say she doesn’t understand me in better audio than the echo which actually works as advertised?

      Every doubter to botvinniks comments spews back the narrative that apple has laid out for you. “Our speaker sounds better!” As long as you type in your request, and don’t rely on the voice interface. My echo works great and rarely misses commands.

  3. I 2nd MDNs comment ..big time..
    “Apple’s target market for HomePod is not people who will settle for discounted, wildly inferior speakers.”

    No where near !

    1. If anybody buys the echo for speaker quality, well, they get what they deserve. You need to connect something that is really good quality to the echo, like a bose BT speaker as an example. I’m sure Apple’s new Homepod is high quality and sounds great, But if you are looking for more flexibility, the echo or echo dot is the way to go. Whatever rocks your world.

      1. Bluetooth and hi fi do not even belong in the same discussion.

        No single box speaker array will ever be hi fi either. There is a reason humans and other creatures evolved with widely spaced ears. No matter how good or bad Siri is, the home pod will always be second class acoustically.

        And like I said before, the fanboys will rush to justify why Apple’s compromised design is perfect. As an iPhone ower, I see zero reason to own a pod. This is just Apple chasing after Amazon Alexa, attempting to catch up with crowdsourced natural language (user spying) that other companies do with impunity.

        1. People are just stating that its acoustic performance is substantially superior to the competition. I do not see anyone claiming that the HomePod is “perfect.”

          “Widely spaced ears”? I don’t know what you look like, but my ears are spaced roughly 7″ apart. You brain has more to do with your ability to discern spatial information than the stereo spacing of your ears.

          The point that is being made is that Apple went to a lot of trouble to attempt to maximize the quality of sound generated by a single, modestly-sized HomePod unit. And it also has the smarts to coordinate with other HomePods in proximity. That may not be worth anything to a priggish audiophile who turns up his nose at Bluetooth, but it apparently appeals to a lot of potential customers.

          You apparently just perceive a “compromised design.” Fine. Don’t buy it. But don’t call the rest of us “fanboys” because we have a different opinion. No true Apple advocate uses that ridiculous term. It just shows your lack of character and ability to engage in civil and reasoned discourse.

          1. “People are just stating that its acoustic performance is substantially superior to the competition.”

            have you heard one? do you know anyone who has heard one?

            let me answer that for you, idiot: The product doesn’t exist.

            “real artists ship.” – Steve Jobs
            “great new products in the pipeline.” – Tim Cook

  4. Apple is such an easy target to sucker punch. It’s not a very aggressive company and doesn’t bother to use any clout to take down other companies. So the company becomes an easy target for those rooting for the underdogs. No matter what Apple does, nothing is going to change for shareholders. Apple is always going to get hit with some negative press reports just to attract attention.

    Not even one HomePod has been sold yet and already it’s considered a losing product. Shouldn’t the article be going after companies who are already selling products in that market which would mainly be Google Home? We’ll just have to wait to see how well HomePods actually sell and if the product is any good. There’s nothing Apple can do at this point except to make sure Siri is at top of its form when they eventually release HomePod.

  5. “Not even one HomePod has been sold yet and already it’s considered a losing product. ”

    Just as were the iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch and Air Pods.

    iPod destroyed the digital music player industry.

    iPhone destroyed the top smart phone manufacturers (Palm, Motorola, Nokia and Blackberry (nee RIMM).

    Apple Watch is the #2 premium watch manufacturer in the world.

    Air Pods are the #1 selling wireless earbuds.

    iPads, despite declining unit sales continues to outsell the industry.

    In every product category Apple competes in Apple’s takes the lions share of profit despite market shares as low as 15%.

    Market share is only important when there is no product/price/profit differentiation. Market share has no importance when one product dominates industry profits.

  6. Alexa is not really in competition with HomePod for most people.
    There are people who love Alexa functionality. I would not ever use it in my house, since I have no desire having Jeff listen in to what is going.
    I do like sophisticated audio systems and would consider the HomePod. I still have an older Classic iPod with Apple HiFi and listen to it often. To me. it looks timeless.
    So I think, there is little overlap between the audiences.

  7. How can they say Amazon shafted Apple when the home pod isn’t even for sale yet?

    Anyway even if a customer buy’s the amazon product there is nothing stopping them but a homepod and using both.

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