Apple unveiled the HomePod, its own rendition of the virtual home assistant in June this year. It was supposed to launch in December but the Cupertino giant has now announced that the product will be available for consumers in sometime early 2018.
Apple competes with Amazon and Google on this frontier, who have Echo using Alexa and Home using the Google Assistant respectively. Apple’s HomePod makes use of Siri to carry out all the basic tasks that one would use a virtual assistant for. However, it has been positioned more as a really good speaker that also has an assistant. To compete with this, Google launched the Home Max in its Pixel event this year, which is positioned along the same lines.
The small sized Amazon Echo Dot retails at $49.99 in the US, the bigger variant called as the Echo is priced at $99.99. Google on the other hand sells Home mini at $49 and the larger Home at $129. Apple being Apple, has priced the HomePod at $349, which is more than 3 times higher than its product equivalents from Amazon and Google. However, it is definitely a more powerful speaker than either of them and users looking for that might be interested.
Unfortunately consumers have to wait a few more months to get their hands on the HomePod. Apple said in a statement, “We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers”
In the U.S and other foreign markets, the holiday season in December is considered as a golden opportunity for brands to launch new products and garner good sales. With this delay, Apple will miss out on making the most of the Christmas sales this year. Meanwhile, competitors Amazon and Google will take a bigger leap in the same time-frame for their respective virtual home assistants. Amazon launched its Echo in India during the Diwali season, perfectly positioning it to capitalize on the holiday period.
Apple’s HomePod won’t be announced in India anytime soon though, given the lack of a big market for such a product in the country. Even Google is yet to launch the Home assistant in India, probably because of the same reason. Amazon is leading the pack here, like it did with this category of product in the global market. Thus, we might soon expect Google and Apple to follow suit.
If you had to buy a virtual home assistant and all of them were available in India, which one would you prefer: Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod? Let us know in the comments section below.