As Apple's HomePod misses Christmas, Amazon Alexa tops App Store charts for first time

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 83
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,256member
    Soli said:
    smaffei said:
    eskaric said:
    Echo is discounted on Amazon already. Dot by 40% and 2nd generation by 20%. If it was selling so well, why would they discount it around the holidays. Something doesn't add up.
    Actually, they are the prices that Amazon wants to sell them at. The initial prices are to catch folks who will pay to be first.
    I was one of the first customers to buy an Echo 3 years ago. I only $99 when the retail price it went for was $179 soon after. Since then I've bought 3 others, yet I'm excited to see what Apple will do with HomePod.
    And, in fairness, you've been consistently positive about it (as have many others I know).

    Off-topic: I did the unthinkable -- instead of a new Apple TV (an utterly mediocre product), I bought the Fire Stick. If I am going to be stuck with mediocrity, I might as well spend $70 rather than $180. Also, from all I've read, it travels better (both at home and abroad).
    1) I have, but I will say that it died. Maybe the cat did it. A few months ago it stopped working so I contacted Amazon's chat and they sent me a free PSU (which had a different inside color, not unique how Apple did a green dot on their iPhone 5W charger many years ago) . That fixed it. Then last month it stopped working again so I tried to get another free PSU, but that was a no-go. I ordered one and that didn't do it. Their chat tech support was very thorough in helping me troubleshoot a three year old device that was clearly out of warranty. Instead of saying "sorry Charlie" they offered me a 20% discount, which can still be applied to the current discount they have so I bought an Echo Plus. On top of that I got to return the PSU I bought so the Echo Plus was about $80, which I couldn't pass up. If not for the extra discount I probably would've just waited for the HomePod, which I'm still waiting for.

    2) I use my Apple TV all the time. I have a few niggles, but it's with tvOS 11.x, not the HW. I have heard great things about the Fire Stick (and the cheapest Roku) for travel. I like that Roju's remote has specific streaming services buttons, but have you noticed that these buttons and services are not consistent. I'm curious if this to spread out the market better or if it's just how their deals have changed over time.
  • Reply 42 of 83
    zroger73 said:
    zroger73 said:
    For Apple's sake, they better have a significantly superior product to overcome the popularity Amazon's Echo has gained.
    The echo is cheap. I’m sure a lot of purchases are people just trying it out because the cost of entry is low. But is this the next big thing or is it another cheap fitness tracker that gets shoved in a drawer after a few months?
    With the exception of my mom who doesn't understand most of the capabilities and/or forgets that she has one, the rest of my friends and family members have been very pleased with the performance and usefulness of their Echo devices (myself included).
    That’s great. And maybe they really will become a thing that’s sticky. I still think it’s too early to tell. I remember when the Kindle Fire was all the rage (to the point where Wall Street was panicking that Apple didn’t have a smaller cheaper tablet to compete), now it hardly gets talked about anymore.
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 43 of 83
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,296member
    Soli said:
    smaffei said:
    eskaric said:
    Echo is discounted on Amazon already. Dot by 40% and 2nd generation by 20%. If it was selling so well, why would they discount it around the holidays. Something doesn't add up.
    Actually, they are the prices that Amazon wants to sell them at. The initial prices are to catch folks who will pay to be first.
    I was one of the first customers to buy an Echo 3 years ago. I only $99 when the retail price it went for was $179 soon after. Since then I've bought 3 others, yet I'm excited to see what Apple will do with HomePod.
    And, in fairness, you've been consistently positive about it (as have many others I know).

    Off-topic: I did the unthinkable -- instead of a new Apple TV (an utterly mediocre product), I bought the Fire TV. If I am going to be stuck with mediocrity, I might as well spend $70 rather than $180. Also, from all I've read, it travels better (both at home and abroad). My first ever Amazon product!
    Well, I have a Fire Stick (for the Prime app) plugged into one HDMI port and an Apple TV plugged into another port. The Fire Stick is a dog compared to the Apple TV. It’s slow, the remote is barely functional and double clicks all the time but I used it until Amazon released the Prime app for the ATV. I also have an Echo Dot sitting right next to my iPhone 6 dock and here is a typical exchange that happens all to often. “Alexa, turn on the porch light.” The blue lights spin for a few seconds and I get “I’m sorry the porch light is not responding. So “Hey Siri, turn on the porch light. A few seconds go by, the light turns on and I get “Okay the porch light is on.” So I have two Amazon products and Prime in actual use right along side my Apple products for comparison. And from my experience there is no comparison.
    macpluspluspscooter63racerhomie3
  • Reply 44 of 83
    I dunno... The HomePod seems to be a product without a defined market.
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 45 of 83
    One thing I disagree with is the idea that HomePod is targeting audiophiles. Um no. And that’s why I wonder if there’s a large enough market here for Apple to go after. People that aren’t obsessed with sound quality will buy an Echo or Google Home because they’re cheaper. Audiophiles will have home theater systems. I hope HomePod becomes a real platform and isn’t like the iPad mini where Apple created something because of market pressure more than anything else. 
  • Reply 46 of 83
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,256member
    Does anyone remember when high-end homes had gimmicky intercom systems in them? I don't think I've seen any new installations since the cellphone became commonplace, but I still see them in homes and they're never used. Well, that may not change as one of the new features in an intercom system between devices on your account.

    Why would this be useful now but not before? Because you don't have to go to the wall and press and hold any buttons. You can just speak your desire, "Echo call kitchen," "Alexa call [name of kid]'s room."

    This is much easier to do with a $29 Echo Dot in bedrooms where the Echo is your clock and alarm clock, as I'm not going to put a HomePod in all those rooms, even if it has that feature.

    I'm not 100% sure, but I think the local WiFi is unimportant—only the account in which its setup—so you can use this intercom from a different network entirely. Of course, they also added the ability to call friends and family with Alexa-capable devices handsfree which means no need for her picking up a phone. However, if you are on your iPhone you can just say "Alexa connect iPhone" to have it switch seamless to the Echo for its microphone and speaker, which are better than the iPhone. This is very handy! Then say you decide to leave the house you can just say "Alexa disconnect" and it's instantly back on your iPhone's speaker and mic. I use this for both phone calls and podcasts/music as I enter and leave the house.

    I really hope that Apple follows up HomePod with much cheaper devices to help saturate the home.
    zroger73
  • Reply 47 of 83
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,802member
    lkrupp said:
    zroger73 said:
    For Apple's sake, they better have a significantly superior product to overcome the popularity Amazon's Echo has gained.
    Oh just stifle it. The Echo and the HomePod are not even in the same ballpark marketwise. Why would a $50 gadget be competition to a $300 high end music streaming device? Just like a $50 Android phone is competition to the iPhone? Not hardly. The narrative here is to blast Apple for not producing the same $50 gadget with Siri as its AI. It’s about blasting Apple for not going for the low price, low margin stuff that doesn’t make anybody any money. Its about the traditional business model that says market share means everything. Amazon’s motive here is not to give customers this amazing device for a low price out of altruism. Amazon’s motive is to get this into as many homes as it can to promote its online store.
    How many HomePods will you buy?
  • Reply 48 of 83
    Soli said:
    I have heard great things about the Fire Stick (and the cheapest Roku) for travel. 
    I meant 'Fire TV' (the 4K one), not 'Stick'. (I corrected it in the original post).
  • Reply 49 of 83

    lkrupp said:
    Soli said:
    smaffei said:
    eskaric said:
    Echo is discounted on Amazon already. Dot by 40% and 2nd generation by 20%. If it was selling so well, why would they discount it around the holidays. Something doesn't add up.
    Actually, they are the prices that Amazon wants to sell them at. The initial prices are to catch folks who will pay to be first.
    I was one of the first customers to buy an Echo 3 years ago. I only $99 when the retail price it went for was $179 soon after. Since then I've bought 3 others, yet I'm excited to see what Apple will do with HomePod.
    And, in fairness, you've been consistently positive about it (as have many others I know).

    Off-topic: I did the unthinkable -- instead of a new Apple TV (an utterly mediocre product), I bought the Fire TV. If I am going to be stuck with mediocrity, I might as well spend $70 rather than $180. Also, from all I've read, it travels better (both at home and abroad). My first ever Amazon product!
    Well, I have a Fire Stick (for the Prime app) plugged into one HDMI port and an Apple TV plugged into another port. The Fire Stick is a dog compared to the Apple TV. It’s slow, the remote is barely functional and double clicks all the time but I used it until Amazon released the Prime app for the ATV. I also have an Echo Dot sitting right next to my iPhone 6 dock and here is a typical exchange that happens all to often. “Alexa, turn on the porch light.” The blue lights spin for a few seconds and I get “I’m sorry the porch light is not responding. So “Hey Siri, turn on the porch light. A few seconds go by, the light turns on and I get “Okay the porch light is on.” So I have two Amazon products and Prime in actual use right along side my Apple products for comparison. And from my experience there is no comparison.
    This is good to know (the thing I ordered is 'Fire TV'... the 4K one, not the Stick).

    I'll try it out for a couple of days. If it's a dog, as you say, I'll return it.
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 50 of 83
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,094member
    One thing I disagree with is the idea that HomePod is targeting audiophiles. Um no. And that’s why I wonder if there’s a large enough market here for Apple to go after. People that aren’t obsessed with sound quality will buy an Echo or Google Home because they’re cheaper. Audiophiles will have home theater systems. I hope HomePod becomes a real platform and isn’t like the iPad mini where Apple created something because of market pressure more than anything else. 
    I've done much the same as Soli with several smart-speakers spread among the rooms. Broadcast music or announcements to all at once, to specific groups you define, or to a single unit. "Start my day"  will prompt the nearest one to tell me the curre4nt commute time, weather, appointments and reminders. "Goodnight"  turns off the TV, the Christmas lights and living room lights. If the kids have turned down the upstairs ac/heat set high or the wife has a hot-flash attack I can turn it up/down from the coziness of my own bed. The total investment? I now have 3 mini's at $29 each plus one original Home bought used for well under a hundred bucks. So maybe half the price of a single Homepod, perhaps a bit more? FWIW the original Home's sound is very acceptable much of the time, perfect for the holidays in fact broadcasting the same music stream to all four speakers. When it's not there's Onkyo and Pioneer...
  • Reply 51 of 83
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,256member
    lkrupp said:
    Amazon’s motive is to get this into as many homes as it can to promote its online store.
    1) Of course they desire to get their devices into as many homes as possible. Are you suggesting Apple or any other company doesn't want this?

    2) In 3 years I've never once bought a damn thing via Alexa. I've also never known anyone who has so you suggest that people are going to do research and buy items using the Echo as the primary reason why it exists it asinine.

    3) Despite it being repeated ad nauseam you still don't understand that it supports both HomeKit and Apple Music, as well as a million other third-party options that offers Amazon no service revenue. Do you think Apple will support HomeKit and Apple Music competitors out of the box or do you think they'll continue to pimp their own "online" service with Apple Music like they've been doing since last June. I hope they do, but so far we've had zero evidence it will happen… and yet you claim Amazon is only promoting their own services.
    gatorguymuthuk_vanalingamargonaut
  • Reply 52 of 83
    One thing I disagree with is the idea that HomePod is targeting audiophiles. Um no. And that’s why I wonder if there’s a large enough market here for Apple to go after. People that aren’t obsessed with sound quality will buy an Echo or Google Home because they’re cheaper. Audiophiles will have home theater systems. I hope HomePod becomes a real platform and isn’t like the iPad mini where Apple created something because of market pressure more than anything else. 
    AirPods just disprove you. It is the first time people experience high quality wireless audio. Apple has even designed a custom chip for lag free listening experience for AirPods. Do not try to tweak Apple’s product positionings to prove its failure: the HomePod is not targeted to online shoppers, it is targeted to audiophiles. And once released it will shake again that world with its price/performance. If you love the Echo then go for it. It is not Apple’s market nor its concern. Echo cannot prevent HomePod’s penetration. And after HomePod’s penetration we will see the outcome of Echo in those houses with both devices.

    Apple never creates anything because of market pressure. The iPad Mini was a technical necessity, not a marketing necessity. People wanted a lightweight tablet with the same power as the iPad Air. The only way to reduce the weight without compromise was the Mini form factor at this time.
    edited December 2017 pscooter63racerhomie3argonaut
  • Reply 53 of 83

    Apple never creates anything because of market pressure. The iPad Mini was a technical necessity, not a marketing necessity. People wanted a lightweight tablet with the same power as the iPad Air. The only way to reduce the weight without compromise was the Mini form factor at this time.
    That's funny how you said "Apple never creates anything because of market pressure" then immediately said they created the iPad mini because "People wanted a lightweight tablet with the same power as the iPad Air".
  • Reply 54 of 83
    Off-topic: I did the unthinkable -- instead of a new Apple TV (an utterly mediocre product), I bought the Fire TV. If I am going to be stuck with mediocrity, I might as well spend $70 rather than $180. Also, from all I've read, it travels better (both at home and abroad). My first ever Amazon product!
    I had three Apple TV 4 then bought two Amazon Fire TV mainly so I could watch Prime Video. A couple of weeks later, the Prime Video app for the Apple TV was finally released. Oh, well. :smile:

    I do wish the Apple devices had full-screen artwork and scrolling, karaoke-style lyrics like the Amazon devices, though.
  • Reply 55 of 83
    zroger73 said:

    Apple never creates anything because of market pressure. The iPad Mini was a technical necessity, not a marketing necessity. People wanted a lightweight tablet with the same power as the iPad Air. The only way to reduce the weight without compromise was the Mini form factor at this time.
    That's funny how you said "Apple never creates anything because of market pressure" then immediately said they created the iPad mini because "People wanted a lightweight tablet with the same power as the iPad Air".
    So what?

    My point is not the “market pressure” the original poster meant. Apple removed a technical limitation (weight) with the iPad Mini, not a market share limitation (price, competition etc...).
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 56 of 83
    One thing I disagree with is the idea that HomePod is targeting audiophiles. Um no. And that’s why I wonder if there’s a large enough market here for Apple to go after. People that aren’t obsessed with sound quality will buy an Echo or Google Home because they’re cheaper. Audiophiles will have home theater systems. I hope HomePod becomes a real platform and isn’t like the iPad mini where Apple created something because of market pressure more than anything else. 
    AirPods just disprove you. It is the first time people experience high quality wireless audio. Apple has even designed a custom chip for lag free listening experience for AirPods. Do not try to tweak Apple’s product positionings to prove its failure: the HomePod is not targeted to online shoppers, it is targeted to audiophiles. And once released it will shake again that world with its price/performance. If you love the Echo then go for it. It is not Apple’s market nor its concern. Echo cannot prevent HomePod’s penetration. And after HomePod’s penetration we will see the outcome of Echo in those houses with both devices.

    Apple never creates anything because of market pressure. The iPad Mini was a technical necessity, not a marketing necessity. People wanted a lightweight tablet with the same power as the iPad Air. The only way to reduce the weight without compromise was the Mini form factor at this time.
    I guess I should’ve been more clear. Apple maybe targeting audiophiles I’m just not convinced they’ll be interested in a HomePod. They probably already have elaborate home theater systems or don’t think of Apple as a company that’s known for audiophile quality sound. As far as iPad mini, it was first released in 2012. iPad Air didn’t exist until 2013. iPad Mini was absolutely a reaction to smaller tablets. This email from Eddy Cue proves that.


    gatorguyracerhomie3argonaut
  • Reply 57 of 83
    holyone said:
    Great post, but unfortunately this place is populated by Apple psychopaths who take this company as though it were a dear family member they would defend till their last breath, and everything Apple touches turns to gold and they just " get in" , proof ? Well [ $ 900 Bln market cap and $260 Bln in the bank ]

     The thing about most Apple fanatics is that they only understand the Apple way and can't comprehend any other. The dot or the eco hardware that AMZ is selling isn't the product, if Bezos could he'd give those thing away for free, just as Apple give its iOS macOS watchOS and tvOS away for free because those things aren't the product Apple is selling, Apple sells relatively cheaply assembled hardware at a premium, the Alexa speakers are just a reverse of this.  
    Bingo holyone. Maybe instead of 'place is populated' just 'Apple psychopaths are over-represented on this forum'.  I often get the impression that a lot of AI posters are diehard rooters (in Australia that has an entirely different meaning :D ) for the Apple football team and all the other teams in the same comp are just plain evil.
    singularity
  • Reply 58 of 83

    zroger73 said:

    Apple never creates anything because of market pressure. The iPad Mini was a technical necessity, not a marketing necessity. People wanted a lightweight tablet with the same power as the iPad Air. The only way to reduce the weight without compromise was the Mini form factor at this time.
    That's funny how you said "Apple never creates anything because of market pressure" then immediately said they created the iPad mini because "People wanted a lightweight tablet with the same power as the iPad Air".
    So what?

    My point is not the “market pressure” the original poster meant. Apple removed a technical limitation (weight) with the iPad Mini, not a market share limitation (price, competition etc...).
    If the mini wasn’t responding to the market then explain this 2011 email from Eddy Cue. iPad mini came out a year before iPad Air.


    Now its obvious with Apple being able to reduce the weight from the full size iPad and along with the creation of the iPhone Plus the market for iPad mini probably isn’t there anymore hence why it isn’t really being updated but make no mistake it was a reaction to the fad at the time which was 7” tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7.
  • Reply 59 of 83

    zroger73 said:

    Apple never creates anything because of market pressure. The iPad Mini was a technical necessity, not a marketing necessity. People wanted a lightweight tablet with the same power as the iPad Air. The only way to reduce the weight without compromise was the Mini form factor at this time.
    That's funny how you said "Apple never creates anything because of market pressure" then immediately said they created the iPad mini because "People wanted a lightweight tablet with the same power as the iPad Air".
    So what?

    My point is not the “market pressure” the original poster meant. Apple removed a technical limitation (weight) with the iPad Mini, not a market share limitation (price, competition etc...).
    If the mini wasn’t responding to the market then explain this 2011 email from Eddy Cue. iPad mini came out a year before iPad Air.


    Now its obvious with Apple being able to reduce the weight from the full size iPad and along with the creation of the iPhone Plus the market for iPad mini probably isn’t there anymore hence why it isn’t really being updated but make no mistake it was a reaction to the fad at the time which was 7” tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7.
    Your answer is in the subject line of the email you quoted. Size matters. Why size matters? in the iPad’s case that was because of the weight. The iPad was the most repaired Apple device to date, as a authorized service provider told me. Why most repaired? Because of drops. Why drop? Because of the weight. The weight was the issue, not dimensions. Cumbersome, thick, battery hungry 7” tablets were never Apple’s concern. The usage cases Cue mentions “email, books, facebook and video” all require reduced weight first. If Apple were able to reduce the weight of the iPad as it is today, the Mini wouldn’t be born. That is the point. Now that Apple has reduced the weight of larger size iPads, the Mini is not a necessity.
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 60 of 83
    waverboy said:
    Unfortunately Siri still needs a lot of work to bring her up to Alexa's capabilities.  I really hope Apple has drastic improvements in store.
    I hate Alexa’a leftist propaganda.
    Siri’s Wikipedia based knowledge is much better.
    edited December 2017 SpamSandwich
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