Kicking Apple’s HomePod when it’s down (video)

From Mark Gurman’s Why Apple’s HomePod Is Three Years Behind Amazon’s Echo in Bloomberg Technology:

Amazon’s Echo became a hit with consumers impressed by Alexa’s ability to answer questions, order pizzas and turn lights on and off. Meanwhile, Apple dithered over its own speaker, according to people familiar with the situation. The project was cancelled and revived several times, they said, and the device went through multiple permutations (at one point it stood 3 feet tall) as executives struggled to figure out how it would fit into the home and Apple’s ecosystem of products and services…

As a result, when the $350 gadget debuts early next year (on Friday Apple delayed the launch from December), the HomePod won’t be able to do many of the things the Echo can. Amazon offers thousands of “skills” (voice-activated apps) that let users do a range of things (including buy stuff from Amazon). The Google Home Mini, which debuted earlier this year, is similarly endowed. The HomePod will be mostly limited to playing tunes from Apple Music, controlling Apple-optimized smart home appliances and sending messages through an iPhone.

“This is a huge missed opportunity,” said one of the people, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter. Apple declined to comment.

Cue the video (pardon the preroll):

My take: Gurman has good sources among the Apple malcontents, and a setback is probably a good time to get them to sing.

See also: Three ways of looking at the HomePods delay.


  1. David Drinkwater said:
    I agree completely!

    Mark Gurman knows, for 100% SURE, exactly what we will see Apple roll out on Launch Day. I’m so confident of that, that I know that Apple really meant to roll out the Home Pod at WWDC on June 5, 2017.

    Except that Apple didn’t roll out the Hardware on June 5. They clearly knew that there were things that they were still working on. So maybe we don’t know exactly what Apple will have to offer when they roll out the hardware, and maybe there is still “just one more thing” that we all have to look forward to.

    I haven’t got a clear bead on Gurman these days. I don’t know if he is friend or foe or frenemy. But I am sure that he is happy to take advantage of any “delays”.

    November 21, 2017
  2. John Kirk said:
    Apple may have missed a beat here and it may end up being important.

    On the other hand, Apple is almost never first. Their goal is to get it right. And they usually do. And when they do, they quite often sweep the market. Apple wasn’t first to MP3 players, phones, tablets, watches or wireless speakers. They were seven years behind in phones and TEN YEARS behind Microsoft in tablets.

    Also, while pundits laud the success of the Amazon Echo, they fail to note that Amazon’s penetration of the market is paltry at best. Amazon may have a lead. But if they do, it’s a small one.

    Finally, I’m not saying Apple is going to win this battle. But I am saying the battle hasn’t even begun.

    November 21, 2017
  3. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    Missed opportunity? I don’t know.

    What I do know is that I plan to buy two HomePods first and foremost for the consumption of Apple Music content in my home. The HomePods will also do some cool Siri stuff.

    Apple has a history of reducing a prospective solution to its simplest and purest functions and adding functionality over time. I really don’t want a “Swiss Army knife” for a home music solution. I’ll take what the HomePod offers – high quality sound for my living space with Siri integration.

    November 22, 2017
  4. Gianfranco Pedron said:
    I think Gurman is has passed his “best before” date. You can still consume him, but the freshness just isn’t there.

    The stuff he quotes his “sources” as saying is nothing really extraordinary.

    Yes, the iPhone, iPad and other Apple products went on to become market leaders AFTER they were released but were maligned much as Gurman does to the HomePod BEFORE they were released.

    Nothing new here. Only reason anybody listens to Gurman anymore is because of his past performance. I can’t imagine he will be with Bloomberg much longer if he can’t come up with anything fresher than this.

    … unless Bloomberg want to use him as an AAPL hit man until his credibility runs out.

    November 22, 2017

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