Apple's first million HomePods now shipping from Inventec - report

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  • Reply 41 of 64
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    I don't necessarily think the price is too high for one, the trouble is that if you want more than one, and many people will, then it's getting unnecessarily expensive. I have a Home Mini downstairs that casts to my stereo and another Mini upstairs that isn't really for music. I might buy a higher end device upstairs later but I don't need more than one.
  • Reply 42 of 64
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,389member
    And there is a lot of confusion around that as well...  It’s like she has a mental blocker when it comes to using the iPhone. 
    Unlike Echo products where there is no difference in the voice UI among devices.  I use both Alexa and Siri for my Hue products because neither is better than 70-75% reliable for me. 

    Frequently I get 'Your Echo Dot has lost it's connection' and then giving Siri the command gets the job done. Or conversely, Siri says 'I'll tap you when I'm ready' and never does, or I get caught in a 'please say again, I didn't get that' or something similar.

    Siri gets some things better than Alexa, and vice versa. Syntax is Alexa's weak point, and Siri's strength. Understanding speech is one of Alexa's strengths, where Siri often fails. Alexa can do far more than Siri. 

    Delays of both of them responding and carrying out simple tasks is about the same for me. Sometimes immediate, sometimes they have to think about it. Sometimes they both fail to carry out simple tasks (usually not both on the same task) and acknowledge the task was done. Or I get a 'I don't know what when wrong' or 'devices not responding' when they actually did as ordered.

    Overall, I've found Alexa more useful for somethings and a little more quickly to respond and carry out an instruction. I also prefer the one word trigger 'Alexa' as opposed to 'Hey, Siri'. And Alexa usually just says 'OK' on completion of a task, where Siri gives me a more verbose response, which is getting old. On the Watch (S2, no audio) I just get 'Done' which I like.

    For me, both have a long way to go before I'd consider just one. I use an iPhone so Siri is my only choice in mobile cases.

    I was really anxious to get a HomePod, but with my experiences with both assistants, I'll wait a little. I've got a very fine audio system, so I'm not sure that I'll get my money's worth from a HomePod, that would principally be used as a voice assistant, except possibly in the bedroom (where I've also got some great audio gear). It's not expensive for what it is, it just may be expensive for my use case. So I'll wait and wade through the hate and discontent to find some objective reviews.

    patchythepirate
  • Reply 43 of 64
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,961member
    mike1 said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Price is fine. $350 is not expensive for good audio. It should be a premium product with better sound. They don't have to compete with Amazon's dreck. If there's any significant functionality missing, that's a different story. Not a rush, but I am looking forward to picking one up at some point.
    This toy speaker is not good audio unless you are used to listening to MP3 files on a crappy set of Beats headphones. Got a great set of Focals in my Living Room that would give you a point of reference.
    Calling Apple gear a toy - so original. Not. 40 years of best selling toys in the business, and going strong. It must hurt. 
    jony0williamlondonJWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 44 of 64
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,961member
    andy-uk said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Yup, I've seen people attribute the delay either to the limitations of Siri compared to Alexa and Google or to the price point. Either way, Apple's usual MO of entering a maturing but fragmented market with something nicely packaged and usable looks out of step here and I think we're looking at a re-run of 2006's Apple Hi-Fi which was a nice enough product but wildly overpriced. Apple seems to be stumbling these days, they missed the boat on streaming music and video and they bet the farm on wearable technology when all the heat seems to be on ambient computing so I think they might be in for a bumpy few years while all these big bet investments play out.
    Yes, if by stumbling you mean raking in cash. 

    Apple Watch is already bringing in more than any other watch brand. AirPods and Beats are bringing in more than any other brand. Iphone, ipad, macs, etc. All killing it and generating serious dough. 

    As for “missing” streaming music, they’ve go 10 million more subscribers than they did a few years ago. That’s new revenue. 
    edited January 2018 williamlondonfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 45 of 64
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,961member
    jsmythe00 said:
    Apple will always have haters and doubters...comes with being on top. On with the release date!
    Not on top of the home speaker or voice assistant market. What's to hate. 
    You must not be familiar with Apple. rarely do they release the first product in a category. Often do they release the best products in a category. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 64
    Apple Watch is already bringing in more than any other watch brand. AirPods and Beats are bringing in more than any other brand. Iphone, ipad, macs, etc. All killing it and generating serious dough. 

    As for “missing” streaming music, they’ve go 10 million more subscribers than they did a few years ago. That’s new revenue. 
    I agree there's little risk of Apple going bust any time soon but they've got no movie streaming business and they're playing catch-up in music streaming - Spotify have 70 million subscribers vs. Apple's 30 million and the gap widens every month. The smart watch market, which Apple dominates, is in decline while the smart speaker market, in which Apple has nothing at the moment, trebled in the US last year, so they've got some work to do. 
  • Reply 47 of 64
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,961member
    andy-uk said:
    Apple Watch is already bringing in more than any other watch brand. AirPods and Beats are bringing in more than any other brand. Iphone, ipad, macs, etc. All killing it and generating serious dough. 

    As for “missing” streaming music, they’ve go 10 million more subscribers than they did a few years ago. That’s new revenue. 
    I agree there's little risk of Apple going bust any time soon but they've got no movie streaming business and they're playing catch-up in music streaming - Spotify have 70 million subscribers vs. Apple's 30 million and the gap widens every month. The smart watch market, which Apple dominates, is in decline while the smart speaker market, in which Apple has nothing at the moment, trebled in the US last year, so they've got some work to do. 
    iTunes does movie streaming. If you’re referring to a subscription package like Netflix, not having that != stumbling. Apple’s products business dwarfs Netflix’s revenue. 

    Source that wearables is a declining market? I’m under the impression its revenue is growing as they’ve now surpassed Rolex. 

    Speaker market? LOL

    ...but seriously, you do realize these are all niches that Apple’s revenue already dwarfs?
    williamlondonfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 48 of 64
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    CelTan said:
    Here is my problem:
    I got a google mini as a Christmas present from one of the vendors that I work with (thanks for not noticing that I use only Apple Products iPad, Mac Pro, iPhone).

    I tried it and was about 30 minutes into setup before I gave up frustrated that it can't detect my homekit devices properly. Have to install individual apps, can't play apple music etc.
    My Wife said: I take it and put it on her desk.
    She did not even bother setting up any smart devices.

    When she played music on it, I asked her if she does not hear a difference to the Sonos 1 that we have in the living room.

    Answer: They sound the same to me.

    Apple will need lots of marketing here to make people believe that they get superior sound and better voice integration.

    While I want a HomePod, I don't think I want to go in the argument why to spend 350 USD on a speaker when we have a free one at home.

    C



    Wow, if she thinks it sounds the same she has hearing loss or something... Good god, what on earth where you playing.

    If you play something like acoustic guitar with just a voice, the difference would be absolutely staggering.

    - The louder the sound is played, the bigger the difference.
    - A corollary, the higher the distance  the bigger the distance
    -  The bigger the sound intensity dynamics, the bigger the differences
    - The higher the dynamic range, the bigger the difference.
    - The more bass there is, the bigger the difference.
    -  The more complex the sounds are, the bigger the difference.
    - The better the  recording it, the better it will sound (low bitrate vs high bitrate).

    But, again, there is something that none of those have on the new homepod

    - Adapting live to the sound to the room
    - Adapting live to the sound to the music / room combination
    - Adapting live the sound to the user, the user's location (not said, but it would just needs software and comm with phone, airpod, watch to do so or could just detect people by how they diffract and bounce off sound or a combination of all this).
      (a part of the room could even have a different level, or even EQ than another part (though EQ would be pretty hard to do and require a lot of cancelling, so probably will not be done).
    - Ability to create a soundscape, even a layered AR soundscape to reality (you can have visuals too, but not necessary).
    etc.
    In theory, the could even cancel out environmental sounds I think thus enhancing the sounds people here in that way (the equivalent of cancelling headsets).



    This all sounds like asking people if they're satisfied with their current mp3 player in 2000 or phones in 2007.



    edited January 2018 williamlondonkevin kee
  • Reply 49 of 64
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    andy-uk said:
    Apple Watch is already bringing in more than any other watch brand. AirPods and Beats are bringing in more than any other brand. Iphone, ipad, macs, etc. All killing it and generating serious dough. 

    As for “missing” streaming music, they’ve go 10 million more subscribers than they did a few years ago. That’s new revenue. 
    I agree there's little risk of Apple going bust any time soon but they've got no movie streaming business and they're playing catch-up in music streaming - Spotify have 70 million subscribers vs. Apple's 30 million and the gap widens every month. The smart watch market, which Apple dominates, is in decline while the smart speaker market, in which Apple has nothing at the moment, trebled in the US last year, so they've got some work to do. 
    Watches are not in decline Apple's predicted shipment will be much higher this year.
    Apple has 15% of the worldwide phone sales but 90% of profits.
    Apple has 40% of Tablet sales and 95% of profits.
    Apple has 10% of laptop sales and 80% of profits.
    Apple has 20% of smart watch sales and 90% of profits,
    Apple has a 40% of wireless headphone sales, nearly all profits..

    See a pattern here. Apple doesn't give a shit if Amazon controls the low end, they don't care.

    They'll get 10% of the market and 80% of the profits and that's it. Business as usual and they'll be fine with this.
    williamlondonfastasleepwatto_cobraGG1patchythepirate
  • Reply 50 of 64
    mike1 said:
    mike1 said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Price is fine. $350 is not expensive for good audio. It should be a premium product with better sound. They don't have to compete with Amazon's dreck. If there's any significant functionality missing, that's a different story. Not a rush, but I am looking forward to picking one up at some point.
    This toy speaker is not good audio unless you are used to listening to MP3 files on a crappy set of Beats headphones. Got a great set of Focals in my Living Room that would give you a point of reference.
    Stop with the ridiculous argument. Apples and oranges. I too have an excellent home audio system in my living room that I use for 2-channel audio and home theater. Nobody ever said or expected this would sound as good. This will, however, add good quality sound in other rooms. If it performs as expected, with far superior sound than most of the other cheap crap that's out there and with more functionality.
    People told me that it was worth the extra money to buy a Beats Pill+ (which at the time was even more expensive than the high price it commands now) because it would sound better than Sony et al at half the price. Since I was buying it to take on vacation and wouldn't be back in time to return it, I took people at their word.

    They were wrong. My daughter just bought some little POS bluetooth speaker for $70 that sounds at least as good as if not better than my Pill+.

    I'm obviously not dismissing the idea that the HomePod may sound decent -- that would be silly without having heard it -- but I don't share your optimistic belief that it definitely will sound good just because it's supposed to. It may be that, as with the Pill, much less expensive devices sound as good or better. Or it may sound great and I'll be pleased. I'll be leaving myself room to back out of the purchase this time though, just in case.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 51 of 64
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    mike1 said:
    mike1 said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Price is fine. $350 is not expensive for good audio. It should be a premium product with better sound. They don't have to compete with Amazon's dreck. If there's any significant functionality missing, that's a different story. Not a rush, but I am looking forward to picking one up at some point.
    This toy speaker is not good audio unless you are used to listening to MP3 files on a crappy set of Beats headphones. Got a great set of Focals in my Living Room that would give you a point of reference.
    Stop with the ridiculous argument. Apples and oranges. I too have an excellent home audio system in my living room that I use for 2-channel audio and home theater. Nobody ever said or expected this would sound as good. This will, however, add good quality sound in other rooms. If it performs as expected, with far superior sound than most of the other cheap crap that's out there and with more functionality.
    People told me that it was worth the extra money to buy a Beats Pill+ (which at the time was even more expensive than the high price it commands now) because it would sound better than Sony et al at half the price. Since I was buying it to take on vacation and wouldn't be back in time to return it, I took people at their word.

    They were wrong. My daughter just bought some little POS bluetooth speaker for $70 that sounds at least as good as if not better than my Pill+.

    I'm obviously not dismissing the idea that the HomePod may sound decent -- that would be silly without having heard it -- but I don't share your optimistic belief that it definitely will sound good just because it's supposed to. It may be that, as with the Pill, much less expensive devices sound as good or better. Or it may sound great and I'll be pleased. I'll be leaving myself room to back out of the purchase this time though, just in case.
    The pill existed before Apple bought Beats and yeah, not that great. It's more geared toward a particular beat heavy music too so if your not listening to that, well it's not that great.

    It's the adaptivity to the environment that I like, though if you have a large and but not huge acoustically neutral room there would less of a difference except if you play it real loud.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 52 of 64
    JWSC said:
    [...] the ability of the HomePod to project sound off walls based on the dimensions and acoustic properties of each room is an attribute limited to very high end systems.
    Such features are usually attributable only to very high-end systems because the software and processing required to do it well are complex and expensive.

    I'm reasonably confident that testers at Apple have high enough standards that they won't release a product that sounds like a phasey, comb-filtered mess, but psycho-acoustic tricks and playing fast-and-loose with the laws of physics can have serious negative consequences. My guess is that Apple will have chosen a pretty conservative path for the beam-forming stuff and that it won't be the Earth-shattering development some people are expecting. At least I HOPE they have! :) Otherwise there's a pretty serious risk that for every person that says "That sounds cool!" there will be two others that will say "That sounds weird!"
  • Reply 53 of 64
    And there is a lot of confusion around that as well. I think, in part, because if you invoke Siri by pressing a button then you DO need to wait for the tones. But when using “Hey, Siri” you DO NOT.
    One of the recent iOS updates rendered Siri useless on my iPhone 6 Plus. Whether I press the button or use "Hey Siri" there's a delay of three to five seconds before it will accept voice input. If I speak the full command, as in "Hey Siri, shuffle the playlist Xmas" it doesn't process the command. There's just the wiggly line for four or five seconds then "What can I help you with?" Holding the button brings up the wiggly line quickly, but there's a pause of several seconds before the ding ding.
  • Reply 54 of 64
    I don't subscribe to Apple Music, but I do have iTunes match so my entire music library exists in.among other places, Apple's cloud. This has me wondering:

    Does anyone know: will I be able to walk into a room with a HomePod and say "Hey Siri, play Respect by Aretha Franklin" without having to activate another device to select and feed the content to the speaker? Right now I have a Pill+ in the kitchen, which means I need to use an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to select and play anything. It would handy if the speaker was also the source (via the cloud over WiFi) and the control point.
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 55 of 64
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,056member
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    I kinda agree with you. I tried Microsoft Harmon Kardon Invoke and it sounds awesome at $99. I'll see how HomePod sound at $399 or I'll just get 4 Invokes and make them as surround sound system.
  • Reply 56 of 64
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,056member
    jcs2305 said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    What are you comparing Homepod too that makes you believe they priced themselves out of the 'market" as you put? This speaker sound quality wise isn't going to even be comparable to the google and Amazon offerings. Do you believe that it can't be high end audio because it's made by Apple? I have commented before that Homepod is more in line with the Play 3 as far as sound quality and price are concerned, not with Alexa or Google home assistants. They are assistant 1st and music ( sound )  quality 2nd, which seems to be the opposite of what Apple is trying to accomplish.

     Also from what I understood it does allow third party music to be played through it, you just can't use Siri to control 3rd party music apps.
    Try Harmon Kardon Invoke from Microsoft and let me know. It sounds awesome at $99.
  • Reply 57 of 64
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    jsmythe00 said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Apple will always have haters and doubters...comes with being on top. On with the release date!
    Not on top of the home speaker or voice assistant market. What's to hate. 
    You must not be familiar with Apple. rarely do they release the first product in a category. Often do they release the best products in a category. 
    ...when the price is right. Airpods were a hit, with a competitive price

    iPad was a hit, with a competitive price

    Apple watch...same thing

    The problem with HP is there are better product or product combinations for simliar or cheaper that are more feature packed. 
    Actually there is no better product cause it is basically an entirely new type of speaker (adaptive live to the room/music combination)  and the fact you have to even mention a combination, demonstration. People buying Apple's stuff are not going to fiddle with the shit that those dime a dozen so called competitors present; Apple is all about INTEGRATION. That's were they shine and provide added value.

    williamlondon
  • Reply 58 of 64
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,289member
    I am loving the ‘Tell me the latest news’ Siri command.
    But I always have to change to ‘Fox News’
    Siri should remember this.
    Tell me the latest news is my daily Siri conversation. It works like a charm. Now, I can't wait until HomePod read it for me every morning instead of me reading it on screen.
  • Reply 59 of 64
    foggyhill said:
    [...] Apple is all about INTEGRATION. That's were they shine and provide added value.
    Integration may be Apple's goal, but they don't always get it right. The new Apple TV 4K is actually a step backwards in that regard. Unlike our Gen3 unit, it doesn't sync watched status between the cloud and local downloads. The TV app and Up Next show iTunes purchases and Prime, but NOT my local library or Netflix. It's a bit of a mixed up mess. Siri is another area in which integration has not yet been achieved.

    None of that is a direct reflection on the as-yet untested HomePod per se, and obviously Apple probably does a better job of integration than other manufacturers. Still, it's not fair to say that buying a product made by Apple rather than someone else necessarily means it will either work well or play nicely with other Apple products. The holes in the ecosystem and occasional steps backwards (iLife, Final Cut, Apple TV are examples) indicate that it's not safe to assume every new product will mark progress on that front.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 60 of 64
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    foggyhill said:
    [...] Apple is all about INTEGRATION. That's were they shine and provide added value.
    Integration may be Apple's goal, but they don't always get it right. The new Apple TV 4K is actually a step backwards in that regard. Unlike our Gen3 unit, it doesn't sync watched status between the cloud and local downloads. The TV app and Up Next show iTunes purchases and Prime, but NOT my local library or Netflix. It's a bit of a mixed up mess. Siri is another area in which integration has not yet been achieved.

    None of that is a direct reflection on the as-yet untested HomePod per se, and obviously Apple probably does a better job of integration than other manufacturers. Still, it's not fair to say that buying a product made by Apple rather than someone else necessarily means it will either work well or play nicely with other Apple products. The holes in the ecosystem and occasional steps backwards (iLife, Final Cut, Apple TV are examples) indicate that it's not safe to assume every new product will mark progress on that front.
    Well, one of the problem with integration, Apple usually producing good product at launch and an ecosystem, is too early optimization to fit this sprawling ecosystem and that the bigger it is, the higher the chance that locally, a part of it will detach through inertia or that local adaptation will hinder a wider goal (at least temporarily).

    Setting an ecosystem is one thing, keeping it all part alive and active, is a hell of a lot harder.
    That's why there are not many outside Apple that have done it, though a lot of the other players are following in its footstep including Amazon and Google.
    Bizarrely, Samsung is not being very successful at this despite having a huge range of hardware.
    Microsoft is also struggling here.

    Especially if coding / hardware & R&D resources internally are not unlimited.
    Many people seem to think you can just hire STEM people left and right like they grow on trees and throw them at any problem and you'll get a sellable product... If Only it was that easy.

    In fact, sometimes they have to backoff because they adapted to the wrong thing, the wrong local user need that hinders adaptation to the overall ecosystem.

    So,overall ecosystem pressure leads to cull of products perfectly adapted to their niche leaving those that depended on these adaptation without a home.

    edited January 2018
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