Tim Cook says hardware, software integration puts HomePod ahead of competition

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  • Reply 101 of 121
    croprcropr Posts: 944member
    zoetmb said:
    And with all these devices, I don't know how we perceive going back over 60 years to mono sound systems is perceived as "optimized for music" unless one wants to argue that the largely crappy new music released today, largely created within ProTools, doesn't need stereo.
    Common misunderstanding with the HomePod. It's not a mono device. The high/mid range will be reproduced in stereo due to the seven tweeters, while the low end will not (only one woofer). That's not a big deal for a mass market product like the HomePod. Most stereo effects do reside in the high/mid range, so although there is technically a difference with only one woofer, the non-audiophile is going to be hard pressed to find much of a difference with "true" stereo.
    If I have to spend $50 for such a device I don't care about stereo.  But if I have to spend $350, having a good stereo is a big deal.   And I've never seen a single box speaker system, that could compete with a decent quality dual box speaker system,  irrespective how good the room detection feature might be. 
  • Reply 102 of 121
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,755member
    Soli said:
    AppleZulu said:

    blah64 said:
    AppleZulu said:

    Amazon and Google are selling cheap 'dots,' probably at a loss, just to get the things into your home, because the devices themselves aren't intended to generate profit. Alexa and Google assistants are designed to collect data on the user and sell it to others, making the user the product and revenue source for their business models. Siri works the other way around, making its services a reason to buy Apple hardware, which sells at a premium, because of higher quality and the fact that they're never pursuing the low margin cheapest price-point market.

    Some people will buy the HomePod for the superior sound quality, its integration into the Apple environment, and the greater level of data security built into HomeKit. The others will do just fine, until there's news of a significant hacking incident with the less secure products.
    To continue my point above,

    If the HomePod allows for basic features without requiring an outgoing internet link, is that of interest to people who care about not being "the product"?  Would it appeal to you?  Or are people really so inextricably wedded to convenience that they can't be bothered to pay attention to this anymore? 

    I'd jump on a product like this that did the basics and didn't essentially shut itself off for no good reason without internet access.  If the audio quality is as good as it's being made out to be.

    You can play an iTunes library through the HomePod, which means if not being connected to the internet is what floats your boat, you're all set. Once they issue Airplay 2, you'll be able to send whatever you want to it that's Airplay 2 compatible.
    And you'll be able to do all this with a localized version of Siri that only talks to your iTunes Library and processes everything on the HomePod's A-series chip?
    ...and so like Alexa your Home Pod will be listening to everything you say, every sound in your home, connected to Apple servers to process your queries and commands and storing your voice samples on Apple servers. 24 hours a day. Always. Listening. OMG!
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 103 of 121
    tmay said:

    eightzero said:
    Dalrymple's take on the audio quality issue in interesting and insightful:

    http://www.loopinsight.com/2018/01/24/on-homepod-and-audio-quality/

    The comparison to iPod is apt, I think. My recollection is that I had the same reaction to the iPod as I am now having to HomePod: "Meh. Not for me." And iPod wasn't for me at the time. As the prices dropped, and it was a bit more refined, I did get a few. And I still have them. My last one was an iPod touch, that now sits proudly by the window, broadcasting a loop of windchime music into a cheapo BT lamp on the porch. Yes, I have a digial windchime.

    I have one of the last gen iPod nanos that my wife outfitted with a watchband. I remember looking at that and said, "hum. If only Apple could dress this up as an actual watch, they'd have something." Who knew.

    I am very much not the target consumer for HomePod, but I wasn't for iPod either. I recall all the fervor over removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone. The dongle and lightening earbuds I got with my iPhone 7 are unused in the original packaging. I'm not a broad music consumer, so $350 is not vale. To me. YMMV.

    As a shareholder, I hope there are consumers for this, but I have no evidence this is actually the case. 
    It seems quite a few are wondering who the target market is for this. Though I suppose it will sell several million just due to Apple’s brand cachet.
    Pretty much how most high end audio equipment is sold, brand cachet, earned at some point, same as Apple.
    Where does Apple have brand cachet in high end audio?
  • Reply 104 of 121
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,312member
    AppleZulu said:
    Why doesn't Tim Cook realize that Wall Street is only interested in market share percentage in any market? The HomePod is going to sell in such low numbers compared to every other voice assistant, everyone will say the HomePod is a failure right from the start. All the news media is going to boast about is poor HomePod sales compared to every Echo device. That will surely send any potential Apple investors running to Amazon or Google. Although I'm only guessing at this point, but Apple won't allow the HomePod to work with streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, or any others. Consumers won't get any choice except AppleMusic.
    That's just nonsense. Apple has never been concerned with market share. Never. In this business, chasing market share means building cheap products and selling lots of them at slim margins (or, often at a loss). Apple doesn't do that, and they never have. They are always happy to let their competitors do that, because it's a recipe for making inferior products and not a lot of money. Apple has always made higher quality products that capture smaller market share, but sell at a bigger profit. That's why they have more money than anyone else. This has always been their business model.

    If Apple ever starts chasing market share, that's when you should sell your Apple stock.
    They most definitely chased market share with the iPod. And Apple often mentions good news about the market share for other iOS devices, when they have it. 
    edited January 2018 gatorguyavon b7
  • Reply 105 of 121
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,898member
    I'll believe cook when it happens.  I want apple's speaker to be better but instead believe Apple will lock it down and have no Spotify, pandora or similar third party application control.   Also it really is up in the air to verbally control an Apple TV and those applications, which can be video, even vudu or Amazon etc.   I want a full living room system, with privacy which google and Amazon doesn't have 
    Right now the speaker requires Apple Music at least for Siri to operate properly with your music content. Siri isn't going to know how to go out to your Spotify Library and search your music. Why would Apple make Spotify work when it competes with them? I'm sure Apple will not stop you from playing music from your device to it though...you just need to control it yourself. This is a way for Apple to gain Apple Music subscriptions. Why would you not expect Apple integrate their own technology over its competition? 
  • Reply 106 of 121
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,898member
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    AppleZulu said:

    blah64 said:
    AppleZulu said:

    Amazon and Google are selling cheap 'dots,' probably at a loss, just to get the things into your home, because the devices themselves aren't intended to generate profit. Alexa and Google assistants are designed to collect data on the user and sell it to others, making the user the product and revenue source for their business models. Siri works the other way around, making its services a reason to buy Apple hardware, which sells at a premium, because of higher quality and the fact that they're never pursuing the low margin cheapest price-point market.

    Some people will buy the HomePod for the superior sound quality, its integration into the Apple environment, and the greater level of data security built into HomeKit. The others will do just fine, until there's news of a significant hacking incident with the less secure products.
    To continue my point above,

    If the HomePod allows for basic features without requiring an outgoing internet link, is that of interest to people who care about not being "the product"?  Would it appeal to you?  Or are people really so inextricably wedded to convenience that they can't be bothered to pay attention to this anymore? 

    I'd jump on a product like this that did the basics and didn't essentially shut itself off for no good reason without internet access.  If the audio quality is as good as it's being made out to be.

    You can play an iTunes library through the HomePod, which means if not being connected to the internet is what floats your boat, you're all set. Once they issue Airplay 2, you'll be able to send whatever you want to it that's Airplay 2 compatible.
    And you'll be able to do all this with a localized version of Siri that only talks to your iTunes Library and processes everything on the HomePod's A-series chip?
    ...and so like Alexa your Home Pod will be listening to everything you say, every sound in your home, connected to Apple servers to process your queries and commands and storing your voice samples on Apple servers. 24 hours a day. Always. Listening. OMG!
    The mics and be muted if you choose. I'd trust Apple any day over Google or Amazon. They profit on your information...Apple doesn't. I wouldn't touch anything Google with a 100ft pole. 
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 107 of 121
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,755member
    macxpress said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    AppleZulu said:

    blah64 said:
    AppleZulu said:

    Amazon and Google are selling cheap 'dots,' probably at a loss, just to get the things into your home, because the devices themselves aren't intended to generate profit. Alexa and Google assistants are designed to collect data on the user and sell it to others, making the user the product and revenue source for their business models. Siri works the other way around, making its services a reason to buy Apple hardware, which sells at a premium, because of higher quality and the fact that they're never pursuing the low margin cheapest price-point market.

    Some people will buy the HomePod for the superior sound quality, its integration into the Apple environment, and the greater level of data security built into HomeKit. The others will do just fine, until there's news of a significant hacking incident with the less secure products.
    To continue my point above,

    If the HomePod allows for basic features without requiring an outgoing internet link, is that of interest to people who care about not being "the product"?  Would it appeal to you?  Or are people really so inextricably wedded to convenience that they can't be bothered to pay attention to this anymore? 

    I'd jump on a product like this that did the basics and didn't essentially shut itself off for no good reason without internet access.  If the audio quality is as good as it's being made out to be.

    You can play an iTunes library through the HomePod, which means if not being connected to the internet is what floats your boat, you're all set. Once they issue Airplay 2, you'll be able to send whatever you want to it that's Airplay 2 compatible.
    And you'll be able to do all this with a localized version of Siri that only talks to your iTunes Library and processes everything on the HomePod's A-series chip?
    ...and so like Alexa your Home Pod will be listening to everything you say, every sound in your home, connected to Apple servers to process your queries and commands and storing your voice samples on Apple servers. 24 hours a day. Always. Listening. OMG!
    The mics and be muted if you choose. I'd trust Apple any day over Google or Amazon. They profit on your information...Apple doesn't. I wouldn't touch anything Google with a 100ft pole. 
    The mics can be muted on Google Home. An actual physical switch that turns the mics off, the ultimate hacker-proof solution. Same with Amazon's Echo. I believe the Home Pod's mute function may be via software but Apple hasn't actually officially disclosed it yet, only referencing a mute function. 
    I kinda like the physical switch. 

    ...an just a niggling point: Apple does "profit on your information" tho clearly not anywhere near as dependent on it or to the extent that Google does. Apple at this point is just dipping their toes in that water so to speak.

    So different businesses, but neither will sell your information even if they may monetize it. It's safe with either of them.
    edited January 2018 Soli
  • Reply 108 of 121
    An Apple employee who worked on HomePod tweeted that anyone who wants good sound with no surveillance should get a HomePod. Really? So that’s going to be Apple’s marking plan? I’ll keep my Bose Soundlink Mini which has great sound and doesn’t need to be continuously connected to power.
    HomePod blows the Soundlink mini out of the park. Seriously. Just wait and listen. 
  • Reply 109 of 121
    schlack said:
    I have an Echo and I want a HomePod. But my mental space doesn't want to deal with TWO virtual assistants in my home. Not sure how to proceed!
    Just sell Alexa off once you get your HomePod. That’s my plan.
  • Reply 110 of 121
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,946member
    macxpress said:
    I'll believe cook when it happens.  I want apple's speaker to be better but instead believe Apple will lock it down and have no Spotify, pandora or similar third party application control.   Also it really is up in the air to verbally control an Apple TV and those applications, which can be video, even vudu or Amazon etc.   I want a full living room system, with privacy which google and Amazon doesn't have 
    Right now the speaker requires Apple Music at least for Siri to operate properly with your music content. Siri isn't going to know how to go out to your Spotify Library and search your music. Why would Apple make Spotify work when it competes with them? I'm sure Apple will not stop you from playing music from your device to it though...you just need to control it yourself. This is a way for Apple to gain Apple Music subscriptions. Why would you not expect Apple integrate their own technology over its competition? 
    I think we need to look at this from the customer's perspective and not Apple's.

    Pages will open the competition's files (Word docs, at least it will give it a go). iTunes isn't restricted to AAC. Most smart TV platforms will allow you to install an app for different content providers etc.

    The HomePod would benefit the customer's needs if it provided the hooks necessary for competing services to interact with it. Convergence is where much of this needs to end up and we need interoperability to be virtually transparent.
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 111 of 121
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,819member
    avon b7 said:
    macxpress said:
    I'll believe cook when it happens.  I want apple's speaker to be better but instead believe Apple will lock it down and have no Spotify, pandora or similar third party application control.   Also it really is up in the air to verbally control an Apple TV and those applications, which can be video, even vudu or Amazon etc.   I want a full living room system, with privacy which google and Amazon doesn't have 
    Right now the speaker requires Apple Music at least for Siri to operate properly with your music content. Siri isn't going to know how to go out to your Spotify Library and search your music. Why would Apple make Spotify work when it competes with them? I'm sure Apple will not stop you from playing music from your device to it though...you just need to control it yourself. This is a way for Apple to gain Apple Music subscriptions. Why would you not expect Apple integrate their own technology over its competition? 
    I think we need to look at this from the customer's perspective and not Apple's.

    Pages will open the competition's files (Word docs, at least it will give it a go). iTunes isn't restricted to AAC. Most smart TV platforms will allow you to install an app for different content providers etc.

    The HomePod would benefit the customer's needs if it provided the hooks necessary for competing services to interact with it. Convergence is where much of this needs to end up and we need interoperability to be virtually transparent.
    Apple almost never provides hooks to 3rd party apps and services in its initial product release. Lack of support for Spotify, et al, doesn't preclude that it won't happen in the future. 

    Still, I'd bet that there will be a sizable increase in music subscriptions with the HomePod buyer, just as Amazon almost certainly saw a sizable increase in disposable diaper and laundry detergent sales with Alexa. 
  • Reply 112 of 121
    blah64blah64 Posts: 928member

    Fun story about speakers: I once acted as shopping assistant for a music professor who wanted a new sound system at home. I told him to bring along a recording he knew very well.

    We whittled down the choices of speakers to two models. The professor noted that the less expensive pair actually sounded more realistic than the more expensive ones. The salesman was quick to point out that what sounds "pleasing" is not necessarily the most accurate (which is absolutely true). He told the professor that if he could hear the performance represented by that recording, he'd realize the more expensive speakers were actually more accurate.

    The professor leaned over to the table and flipped over the record cover, revealing a photo of him sitting at the organ we were hearing. The recording he had chosen was an album of him playing the tracker organ at the University of Iowa!

    The salesman excused himself and had the manager come in to write up the invoice for the less expensive set of speakers.
    Thanks for sharing.  Awesome.
  • Reply 113 of 121
    blah64blah64 Posts: 928member
    Soli said:
    AppleZulu said:

    blah64 said:
    AppleZulu said:

    Amazon and Google are selling cheap 'dots,' probably at a loss, just to get the things into your home, because the devices themselves aren't intended to generate profit. Alexa and Google assistants are designed to collect data on the user and sell it to others, making the user the product and revenue source for their business models. Siri works the other way around, making its services a reason to buy Apple hardware, which sells at a premium, because of higher quality and the fact that they're never pursuing the low margin cheapest price-point market.

    Some people will buy the HomePod for the superior sound quality, its integration into the Apple environment, and the greater level of data security built into HomeKit. The others will do just fine, until there's news of a significant hacking incident with the less secure products.
    To continue my point above,

    If the HomePod allows for basic features without requiring an outgoing internet link, is that of interest to people who care about not being "the product"?  Would it appeal to you?  Or are people really so inextricably wedded to convenience that they can't be bothered to pay attention to this anymore? 

    I'd jump on a product like this that did the basics and didn't essentially shut itself off for no good reason without internet access.  If the audio quality is as good as it's being made out to be.

    You can play an iTunes library through the HomePod, which means if not being connected to the internet is what floats your boat, you're all set. Once they issue Airplay 2, you'll be able to send whatever you want to it that's Airplay 2 compatible.
    And you'll be able to do all this with a localized version of Siri that only talks to your iTunes Library and processes everything on the HomePod's A-series chip?
    Why not?  Siri works offline for music, albeit in a limited fashion.  See:
        https://www.iphonetricks.org/how-to-use-siri-when-iphone-is-offline/

    My question was more about whether that's of interest to people.  As it turns out, I just did a quick search and found that at least one survey (ComputerWorld, but likely unscientific) showed an overwhelming Yes to that question.  And the author already came up with their own wishlist of offline functionality.  See:
        https://www.computerworld.com/article/3158734/apple-ios/hey-siri-why-don-t-you-have-an-offline-mode.html

    I suspect none of us will know exactly what's possible until the devices start shipping, but I'm very interested in understanding what kind of capabilities a HomePod will have when in "airplane mode".  I have various servers, including an iTunes server running on my network, but most are isolated from the open internet.
  • Reply 114 of 121
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,977member
    blah64 said:
    I suspect none of us will know exactly what's possible until the devices start shipping, but I'm very interested in understanding what kind of capabilities a HomePod will have when in "airplane mode".  I have various servers, including an iTunes server running on my network, but most are isolated from the open internet.
    I doubt there will be any Airplane Mode. There's no such thing on the Apple TV, but you can disable the internet and still access local iTunes libraries through Home Sharing in the Computers app, as of course AirPlay. Home-based products just don't have a major need to have an easy toggle to disable networking.
  • Reply 115 of 121
    blah64blah64 Posts: 928member
    I'll believe cook when it happens.  I want apple's speaker to be better but instead believe Apple will lock it down and have no Spotify, pandora or similar third party application control.   Also it really is up in the air to verbally control an Apple TV and those applications, which can be video, even vudu or Amazon etc.   I want a full living room system, with privacy which google and Amazon doesn't have 
    Your comment puzzles me.  You say you want your system to have privacy, which google and amazon don't have, and I totally understand that (and agree).  But you seem to be advocating for tying in spotify and/or pandora, neither of which have privacy, and they have certainly had their share of problems.  For example:
        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/23/the-spotify-privacy-backlash-what-is-my-personal-data-really-worth

    Even after acknowledging their huge fuck up, spotify essentially wants to be a mini-social network.  See:
        https://www.wired.com/2015/08/spotify-clears-up-its-privacy-policy/
    That puts them in a similar category as facebook, as far as privacy policies and practices.  Now, they're clearly not as bad or dangerous as facebook, but I thought I'd point out the discontinuity in your desires.

    Soli
  • Reply 116 of 121
    blah64blah64 Posts: 928member
    gatorguy said:
    macxpress said:
    gatorguy said:
    ...and so like Alexa your Home Pod will be listening to everything you say, every sound in your home, connected to Apple servers to process your queries and commands and storing your voice samples on Apple servers. 24 hours a day. Always. Listening. OMG!
    The mics and be muted if you choose. I'd trust Apple any day over Google or Amazon. They profit on your information...Apple doesn't. I wouldn't touch anything Google with a 100ft pole. 
    ...
    ...an just a niggling point: Apple does "profit on your information" tho clearly not anywhere near as dependent on it or to the extent that Google does. Apple at this point is just dipping their toes in that water so to speak.

    So different businesses, but neither will sell your information even if they may monetize it. It's safe with either of them.
    There's that famous line again...

    The difference between "selling someone's personal information" and "selling access to someone based on their personal information" is a very fine line.  Constantly banging that drum over and over, trying to make it seem like google's business model isn't selling their users is insincere.

    Apple does indeed do a tiny bit of this, grocery stores etc. likely do more than apple, and google/facebook live and die purely by selling their users.  To the tune of $800B and $500B.
  • Reply 117 of 121
    blah64blah64 Posts: 928member
    Soli said:
    blah64 said:
    I suspect none of us will know exactly what's possible until the devices start shipping, but I'm very interested in understanding what kind of capabilities a HomePod will have when in "airplane mode".  I have various servers, including an iTunes server running on my network, but most are isolated from the open internet.
    I doubt there will be any Airplane Mode. There's no such thing on the Apple TV, but you can disable the internet and still access local iTunes libraries through Home Sharing in the Computers app, as of course AirPlay. Home-based products just don't have a major need to have an easy toggle to disable networking.
    That's why I wrote "airplane mode" in quotes.  On my network, such a device would have access to its local network, but no open line to the internet, basically airplane mode as far as it could tell.

    I do get the feeling that some level of voice-activated functionality will be available, but no idea how much, or how well it might work.  The benefits over an AppleTV would be voice control and the ability to put one or more of them in rooms without any kind of TV or media center.  The above link had a good "starter list" of functionality that would be useful without requiring any communication with Apple.

    In any case, I do think we'll have to wait until they're in people's hands to really know what's possible.
  • Reply 118 of 121
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,755member
    blah64 said:
    gatorguy said:
    macxpress said:
    gatorguy said:
    ...and so like Alexa your Home Pod will be listening to everything you say, every sound in your home, connected to Apple servers to process your queries and commands and storing your voice samples on Apple servers. 24 hours a day. Always. Listening. OMG!
    The mics and be muted if you choose. I'd trust Apple any day over Google or Amazon. They profit on your information...Apple doesn't. I wouldn't touch anything Google with a 100ft pole. 
    ...
    ...an just a niggling point: Apple does "profit on your information" tho clearly not anywhere near as dependent on it or to the extent that Google does. Apple at this point is just dipping their toes in that water so to speak.

    So different businesses, but neither will sell your information even if they may monetize it. It's safe with either of them.
    There's that famous line again...

    The difference between "selling someone's personal information" and "selling access to someone based on their personal information" is a very fine line.  Constantly banging that drum over and over, trying to make it seem like google's business model isn't selling their users is insincere.

    Apple does indeed do a tiny bit of this, grocery stores etc. likely do more than apple, and google/facebook live and die purely by selling their users.  To the tune of $800B and $500B.
    Hardly a very fine line at all. Your personal info entrusted to Apple and your personal info entrusted to Google are safe-guarded in much the same way, and only shared with outside parties under the same very limited use cases. Simply read the two privacy policies to verify. An advertiser has zero access to you, much less your personal information. The only one with access is Google. So unless you're also dinging Apple for possessing personal information... well are you? 
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 119 of 121
    An Apple employee who worked on HomePod tweeted that anyone who wants good sound with no surveillance should get a HomePod. Really? So that’s going to be Apple’s marking plan? I’ll keep my Bose Soundlink Mini which has great sound and doesn’t need to be continuously connected to power.
    HomePod blows the Soundlink mini out of the park. Seriously. Just wait and listen. 
    Where is a good place to listen? Apple stores too crowded.
  • Reply 120 of 121
    Where is a good place to listen?
    At home is the ONLY place to listen. What you hear from a speaker is affected by its surroundings, so you need to hear it in yours. It doesn't matter if it sounds great in the store if it doesn't where you're going to use it.

    Fortunately Apple has an excellent return policy, so you can buy one, try it out, and if it doesn't make you happy, send it back.
    avon b7
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