Arriving Feb. 9—two months late and three years after Amazon’s Echo—Apple’s intelligent assistant is not being sold on the strength of its intelligence.
From Apple’s HomePod availability press release:
“HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple. It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalog and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, beautiful design that is so much fun to use,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We’re so excited for people to get HomePod into their homes, apartments and businesses to hear it for themselves. We think they will be blown away by the audio quality. The team has worked to give Siri a deeper knowledge of music so that you can ask to play virtually anything from your personal favorites to the latest chart-topping releases, simply by saying ‘Hey Siri.’”
My take: If Siri on the HomePod were going to blow the socks off Alexa or Hey Google as anything more than an AI DJ, Schiller would have said so. I don’t need another speaker, or another voice-controlled assistant. But I’d pay more for a smarter one.
Pre-orders start Friday. I’ll probably buy a HomePod, if only to eat the dog food, but $349 is starting to feel a little steep.