Apple’s delayed HomePod comes with raised expectations and stiffer competition

“Late last year, Apple announced that it would delay the promised release of its HomePod smart speaker to early 2018,” Dan Moren writes for Macworld. “The competition already promises to be fierce: Amazon and Google are already entrenched, while everybody from Lenovo to Sonos has been jumping in with me-too offerings.”

“A new report from Canalys says that the smart speaker market is forecast to spike this year, outpacing other technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality. In a rare moment of (for it) transparency, Amazon said it had sold tens of millions of Echo devices during the holidays. (Though many of those sales are likely for the low-cost devices [with which] Apple won’t compete,” Moren writes. “By all accounts, the version of the HomePod shown to press during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last year was far from a fully functional prototype.”

“We might very well never know exactly what was behind the HomePod delay,” Moren writes. “Regardless, though, the stakes are upped: after pushing such a product back, the pressure’s on to make sure it is indeed ‘right.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re going to heed our moms’ “if you can’t say something nice” advice here.

SEE ALSO:
Apple product delays have more than doubled under CEO Tim Cook – January 5, 2018
Apple preps Siri for the HomePod, now streams a news podcast when asked for ‘news’ – January 4, 2018
Apple CEO Tim Cook paid close to $102 million for fiscal 2017 – December 28, 2017
At Tim Cook’s Apple, Steve Jobs is long gone, and so is the ‘it just works’ ethos – December 19, 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
UBS analyst explains why he questioned if Apple CEO Tim Cook has a grand strategy – 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
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 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

34 Comments

    1. Given today’s litigious world, I wonder if Apple did not want to release a new device that contained a CPU that was still susceptible to the predictive execution exploits? The delay announcement was about the same time that people inside the industry discovered the vulnerability.

  1. Not sure where Apple wants to fit in:

    If the point is high sound quality Apple could have partnered with any number of partners on the speaker side and concentrated on the online side.

    If the point is services, why not put the brains in a local Mac, Apple TV or iOS device and let the speaker act as an audio terminal?

    Either way, Apple is late to the dance. Way Late.

    1. Apple wants to “fit in” in the Apple ecosystem. Unless something has changed recently, there’s not a product out yet that does that. Once Apple releases theirs, they will have 100% of the “works seamlessly with Apple devices” market.

      Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t be surprised if the delay was to stockpile the required components. Because WHENEVER it’s released, they will struggle to meet demand regardless of how many they make.

      1. You don’t need a Apple speaker, plenty of products work with ATV. The issue is Siri is terrible and not up to the challenge when it gets compared to Alexa. Amazon has an answer, integrate Echo’s into Bose and others.. A Beats device with Siri, essentially what it is won’t be good enough. Siri needs HUGE improvement and I think that’s what they are working on and the reason it’s delayed.. SIRI IS TERRIBLE TODAY.

        1. No one NEEDS ANY Apple product. That doesn’t stop them from selling in the millions daily.

          Whenever their speaker is released, it will sell just because it works great with all the other iDevices and Services. Even if they made ZERO improvements to Siri.

      1. You’ve checked eight years of Obama in office and counting and found nothing? MDN certainly has posted stories discussing such and more just to drive traffic.

        1. I’ve searched for the terms you claim, and others, including “Obama,” “Hillary,” “Dems,” “Democrat,” “Democratic Party,” and “Clinton,” but cannot find any example of a MacDailyNews Take disparaging any of them.

          Since you made the seemingly baseless claim, the onus is upon you to provide a simple link backing up your claim.

          Failing that, you should apologize to MDN for your libelous comment.

          1. “MDN certainly has posted stories discussing such and more just to drive traffic.”

            MDN is the one that needs to apologize for politicizing this tech site with right right propaganda.

            I remember a story posted on MDN some year past about a person using an EBT (food stamps) card to purchase an iPad at retail store. You can imagine the howling by the Rush Limbaugh right-wingers this site. Until I read the story and pointed out that the person didn’t purchase an iPad with an EBT card.

            The person did take it to the register but was denied because the EBT is solely for food. Well, the person bolted from the store with iPad in hand. Later the person was arrested for theft. I dodn’t remember MDN apologizing for giving the false impression.

            Please link where is this MDN database you query so readily so we can all use it.

            1. Search box, top right of full (desktop) site. On mobile scroll to bottom of any article, tap “use full site” and use that same search box.

              You seem to be having difficulty discerning the difference between MacDailyNews Takes and comments below articles. The comments are from readers, not MacDailyNews. In the comments, you can find examples of people saying something nice/not nice things about pretty much everything. You only seem to see criticisms in comments that clash with your mindset. And then you make the illogical leap to blaming MDN for saying them.

              Back to your claim: I cannot find MDN disparaging “Obama, Hillary or the Dems” in any Take on the site. Since you made the seemingly baseless claim, the onus is upon you to provide a simple link backing up your claim.

              Failing that, you should apologize to MDN for your libelous comment.

            2. “You seem to be having difficulty discerning the difference between MacDailyNews Takes and comments below articles. The comments are from readers, not MacDailyNews.”

              MDN selects the stories it knows will incite a political riot and bias. In doing so it allows hostile comments and lies on the issues I raised and more. Again MDN needs to apologize for consistently politicizing this site just so it drive up traffic. Furthermore, MDC never moderates these comments and allows them to go unchecked. Thereby supporting these statements.

              “Failing that, you should apologize to MDN for your libelous comment.”

              Obviously you’re not a lawyer.

              A story posted on MDN about a reporter that acquired 3 Obama phones otherwise known as Lifeline, a program of the FCC started under the Regan administration. The popularity of this Lifeline phone rose significantly as the US economy imploded at the end of the Bush era and people lost everything.

              The story on MDN did not say how a reporter got 3 phones. There are checks and balances such as confirming receiving gov’t assistance and well as tying a Lifeline phone to a single address. The service provides a basic free phone with 200-300 minutes per month.

              Furthermore, the story came from a well known diaper load, the National Review a conservative rag.

              This was MDN’s response.

              “MacDailyNews Take: “Too much funding, too little oversight, and perverse financial incentives” is the recipe for fraud, abuse, and waste.”

            3. Oh, so now you can read MDN’s collective mind? You have no earthly idea how MDN selects articles.

              Then you claim: “Furthermore, MDC [sic MDN] never moderates these comments and allows them to go unchecked.”

              That is a patently false statement as I know for a fact and have seen MDN moderate plenty of such comments.

              Where in MDN’s response to Lifeline fraud are they “disparaging ‘“Obama, Hillary or the Dems?'”

              Answer: They’re not.

              Furthermore, here’s Senator Claire McCaskill, a DEMOCRAT, commenting on Lifeline fraud:

              A complete lack of oversight is causing this program to fail the American taxpayer — everything that could go wrong is going wrong. We’re currently letting phone companies cash a government check every month with little more than the honor system to hold them accountable, and that simply can’t continue.

              U.S. Government Accountability Office: FCC’s Lifeline program has ‘massive fraud’USA Today, June 29, 2017

              The agency’s three-year audit of the Lifeline program, begun in June 2014 to May 2017, found that more than one-third (36%) of Lifeline customers could not be confirmed as actually eligible for the program. The GAO also found that $1.2 million annually went to fictitious identities or recipients who were dead.. In undercover tests, the GAO found that phone companies approved Lifeline applicants with false personal information nearly two-thirds of the time (63%).

              You should have been embarrassed several comments ago, but, by now, I fear you’re too stupid to be embarrassed by how easily and thoroughly I disprove your insane claims.

              I grow tired of toying with you. It’s too easy.

            4. “That is a patently false statement as I know for a fact and have seen MDN moderate plenty of such comments.”

              Like what exactly since you say?

              “Where in MDN’s response to Lifeline fraud are they “disparaging ‘“Obama, Hillary or the Dems?’””

              They intentionally covered the story referring to it as Obama phone which is a whistle call for the white GOP. MDN knew the type of response this draw.

              From the USA article
              “Where in MDN’s response to Lifeline fraud are they “disparaging ‘“Obama, Hillary or the Dems?’””

              Lifeline checks to see a person SS number is tied to gov’t assistance. If this much is getting by then a problem exists that can easily be fixed.

              “In undercover tests, the GAO found that phone companies approved Lifeline applicants with false personal information nearly two-thirds of the time (63%).”

              So whose doing the stealing?

              “The GAO also found that $1.2 million annually went to fictitious identities or recipients who were dead.”

              It’s just like dead voters. A person that is a regular voter dies. Their death is not reported to local voter registration board. Later it is found that the person had died. It does not mean the dead person or other voted.

              The same thing under this program. A person dies and it not reported. The service continues. A family member may use the phone until the service needs to be renewed. At some point this ends.

              You miss-spelled your handle. it’s spelled, GOPFactChecker

            5. I’ll destroy you one more time, for the fun of it:

              “They intentionally covered the story referring to it as Obama phone which is a whistle call for the white GOP. MDN knew the type of response this draw.”

              Again with the mindreading. You should have a Vegas show. Or many appointments with a good psychologist.

              Here’s the 2013 MacDailyNews Take with which you had such as issue:

              “‘Too much funding, too little oversight, and perverse financial incentives’ is the recipe for fraud, abuse, and waste.”

              Here’s Senator Claire McCaskill, a DEMOCRAT, commenting on Lifeline fraud in 2017:

              “A complete lack of oversight is causing this program to fail the American taxpayer — everything that could go wrong is going wrong. We’re currently letting phone companies cash a government check every month with little more than the honor system to hold them accountable, and that simply can’t continue.”

              So, why is one of “the Dems,” as you call them, virtually echoing MDN’s Take on the issue four years later?

            6. FactChecker,

              Please stop destroying the poor bastard. Have pity! This bjr001 is either too ignorant and/or indoctrinated by nutball libs to understand the depths of his/her delusion.

            7. Here’s the food stamps for iPad article to which you refer above:

              Kentucky woman jailed after repeatedly trying to purchase Apple iPads with food stamps

              It is very brief – four sentences from two sources and an embedded video to a Louisville TV station that no longer streams – and, proving my point quite nicely, in this article there is no MacDailyNews Take at all.

              Once again, since you made the seemingly baseless claim, the onus is upon you to provide a simple link backing up your claim.

              Failing that, you should apologize to MDN for your libelous comment.

            8. Interesting topic here, and while I tend to agree with the idea that there are no disparaging comments per se in MDN’s comments I certainly have noticed an interesting situation in the headlines. I did a quick search myself, by no means complete and found the following:

              Search for Obama: Over 50 instances (many referring to Obama or Obama administration).
              Search for President Obama: 4 instances
              Search for Trump: 9
              Search for President Trump: Over 50.
              Search for Bush: 2
              Search for President Bush: 25

              Now this should be taken with a grain of salt if the headlines are word for word from the media sources but MDN is apt to change or modify the headlines.

              For example, one MDN headline “Obama administration wants FBI access to people’s Internet browser history without a warrant” is “FBI wants access to Internet browser history without a warrant in terrorism and spy cases” and MDN’s take is for that article “Lyin’ Comey.”

              The point is that MDN over the 8 years of Obama’s presidency MDN had “President Obama” in the headline a total of 4 times. Compare that to MDN having “President Bush” roughly 25 times and “President Trump” in the headline over 50 times for a president that is coming up to his first year.

              Again, take all this with a grain of salt but it looks like MDN is right on calling a repubikkkhan president a president, but calling a demoncrat president a president is almost at the cricket chirping stage.

            9. Dear Conspiracy Theorist,

              When Obama became president in 2008, MacDailyNews was still using their old content management system (ExpressionEngine), which I know for a fact had a character limit for headlines. Therefore, space was at a premium in headlines. Not until MDN switched to WordPress in late 2011, could they write longer headlines. Perhaps they’d simply become used to writing “Obama” in headlines. With a new president and the ability to write long headlines, perhaps MDN is now doing so by referring to Trump along with his title.

              Also, last but not least, you’ll note that there were frequent uses of “President Obama” in the text of hundreds of articles (no length limitations in the article text with either CMS) and, yes, even uses of “President Obama” in shorter MDN headlines, including these examples:

              U.S. President Obama conducts demo on Apple MacBook Pro (with video)

              U.S. President Obama confirmed Apple iPad owner

              U.S. President Obama confirmed Apple iPad owner (with photo)

              Mitt Romney: Does President Obama think Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple?

            10. That’s very insightful Web Dev but it still does not explain why President Obama was only mentioned 4 times as President Obama while President George Bush was mentioned as President Bush 25 times. I take it that at that time the Expression Engine was used for both, but I’ll wait for some more insight from you.

              I did not concern myself with the comments are articles, just the headlines, which is why I take it all with a huge grain of salt.

              While I found your comment about the headline limitations insightful as a possible explanation between the discrepancy between president Trump and president Obama, I still don’t think it explains why “President Bush” shows up 25 times, while “President Obama” shows up only 4 times. Both had two terms and I take it gauging from your comment that both were under the Expression Engine.

              I’m not forwarding any conspiracy, I just find it an interesting observation that it all.

            11. MDN might very have been using a different CMS prior to ExpressionEngine during the Bush presidency. Each would have different constraints on headline length. I think MDN used many different CMS during the early years as the traffic grew quickly before graduating to WordPress VIP. I could probably figure that out via Wayback Machine, but I actually have a job, so, ‘bye.

  2. The HomePod looks pretty and I’m sure cats will love it as well. It looks to produce great sound, but Apple did not create a competitor to the Echo or Google’s “ear”. Instead they created an internet radio with a behind the times voice assistant. Not to mention it’s expensive.

    The point here is that Apple is now a phone company but someone forgot to tell Apple. They’ve allowed the Mac to be put on the back burner while letting others innovate.

    The price of the competition is a little more than a quarter or less of the price of the Homepod. But again the Homepod is not an assistant but an internet radio to be linked to iTunes. There may be a market for this.

    1. The Homepod is not only late, it seems to be following AAPL’s m/o these days by following the market and not pressing through and making the market**. If it’s stand-out is higher quality sound, it will be embraced by many, but many more will care less.
      **Again, by what is known now.

    2. One would have been a fool five or ten years ago to buy a $2000 audio system if their primary intent was to play compressed mp3 files.

      That’s basically the argument against buying Homepod just to play internet radio and compressed Apple Music streams.

    3. Funny thing is that Roku started out selling a device to listen to streaming audio.
      They moved on and Apple has followed Real Networks and Microsoft into subscription music. Now they want to sell you a device to listen to it- the HomePod.

      Here is the old Roku Soundbridge

  3. Apple has demonstrated time again that it doesn’t have to be a first-mover in a certain area in order to succeed. iPod and iPhone are just two products that come to mind to prove that. And what all of these so-called pundits miss is the high order bit that makes Apple superior and the best choice (beyond stellar industrial design, near perfect dovetailing of hardware and software, platinum standard customer service, etc.): PRIVACY. There is no way I’m going to put Google or Amazon based listening devices in my living spaces. Conversely, with Apple you have people like Edward Snowden articulating that Apple is a pioneer in the area of tech privacy. That’s enough of an endorsement for me. Beyond all of the features of the HomePod that I expect to enjoy, the most important for me is that what I do with it will not be commoditized and exploited by Apple.

    1. As stated: “pressing through and making the market”, implicitly meaning; possibly late to the party but becoming the party maker. Also, somethings are expected and one would be the HomePod would not have the magnet, sieve, parasitical nature of Amazon and Google’s home listening devices. I guess I’m becoming presumptuous by thinking that’s “a given?”

    2. “Apple has demonstrated time again that it doesn’t have to be a first-mover in a certain area in order to succeed.”

      They sure are not a First Mover in this market space. Or a second or third mover.

  4. Apple is LATER to the party than we know. This is the year the HomeBot hits this HYPE-STREAM. That makes ALL talking ‘AI’ boxes obsolete and antiquated. Oops.
    🤖🤖🤖🤖🤖

    Where’s the Apple HomeBotPod?

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