Arriving late to the game doesn’t bother Apple. Its smart speaker, the HomePod, will come well over a year after the competition debuted but with a high-end listening experience. If you ask anyone at Apple, they’ll tell you it’s the company’s classic hardware-software combination capable of putting this product ahead of anything else on the market.
Tim Cook sat down for an interview with the Financial Post where he discussed the HomePod and augmented reality, revealing both are important parts of Apple’s future.
Making hardware for software and software for hardware has long been Apple’s strategy, and that will continue with its smart speaker. The HomePod won’t be compatible with anything but your voice or an iOS device. Those with an Android device will be left using smart speakers powered by Alexa or Google Assistant.
Cook said the following about the HomePod’s competitors:
“Competition makes all of us better and I welcome it. [But] if you’re both trying to license something and compete with your licensees, this is a difficult model and it remains to be seen if it can be successful or not.”
As usual, the Apple CEO is throwing shade. He’s calling out Amazon and Google for releasing their own digital assistant-backed smart speakers while third-party partners do the same. And he doesn’t stop there. Cook also believes that a “quality” and “immersive” experience is missing from anything else on the market while totally ignoring products like the Google Home Max that’s getting glowing reviews.
Somehow he’s also neglecting the fact that Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant, is well-integrated across iOS and Android. There’s no other digital assistant available that supports as many additional ecosystems, either.
Regarding augmented reality, Apple is all-in. Cook says he believes the technology will grow rapidly, which explains why iOS 11 included the tools necessary to build augmented reality apps tapping into a phone or tablet’s processor, graphics, and sensors.
Time will tell if Apple can beat the competition in these two areas. Amazon looks like it’s running away with the Echo family of smart speakers, and Google’s augmented reality strategy just got started with AR Stickers. Apple, though, has a following like no other company that can help make smart speakers and augmented reality even more mainstream than they already are.