If you want an impartial point of view on everything about Apple, Six Colors is always a good source of news.
That said, I've been an Apple Music subscriber from the very beginning and, therefore, looking with a lot of interest at HomePod product. Unfortunately it is not yet available in Italy, so I'm staring at the window waiting for the product release over here.
Meanwhile, I read basically all the online reviews. Mostly negative for the product launch timing, all of them positive about the speaker's quality.
Loving music myself, I'm super curious about this last feature. Six Colors sums up in the right way which are the plus and the problems that Apple has and needs to face being so late in the market:
The HomePod is the Siri Speaker I dreamed about in 2016. Unfortunately, it shipped in 2018, and it’s got a lot more competition now. With the launch of Apple Music, Apple had a great opportunity to come out with a superior voice-controlled music device and claim the high ground in this market; HomePod is good, but it feels like a product that’s two years late to market (and yet still has features missing, such as stereo pairing and multi-room support).
The Sonos One may not sound as good as the HomePod, but it’s awfully close—and you can pick up two for the price of a single HomePod and put them in a stereo pair today. The Sonos One even supports Apple Music—but not with voice control, as the built-in Alexa assistant works with Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and a few other services, but not Apple’s.
So where does the HomePod fit? In the end its biggest differentiator is that it’s the only way to listen to Apple Music via voice commands. Even as someone who fits in the target demographic for HomePod, that’s slicing a market awfully thin. If you’re the user of another music service, you can use AirPlay to play music from your phone to the HomePod, but at that point, why would you choose HomePod over something like Sonos One? Keeping in mind that Sonos One is half the price.
Two years ago things would’ve been different. But the competition in this category is fierce, and Apple has some catching up to do. Will HomePod end up being, like the Apple TV, an expensive product that is notable because it supports Apple’s ecosystem in a way that no other product does?
Anyways, I do really want to try it!