Analyst predicts new Apple Pencil, 'low-end' $200 HomePod this fall

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 59
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    tmay said:
    Soli said:
    tmay said:
    Soli said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    theLedger said:
    I doubt the veracity of this article. Apple has staked out the high quality sound end of the market with Siri functionality. Creating a smaller version would require a very different strategy and approach. Amazon sells cheap Echos because they want people to leverage Amazon services. However, after a few weeks of the novelty wearing off, most people use these devices to listen to music and get the weather. 

    I also doubt that a stylus will be made for the iPhone. The stylus makes sense for the iPad Pro because the advanced functionality for writing, notes, drawing, etc. demand a high precision device. You don't need it for pointers and writing on a phone sized screen is not easy or natural. 

    Just because the market is doing something doesn't mean that Apple is going to follow. There has to be real world functional use cases, not just features in search of a solution. 
    Name a product category where Apple hasn't started at a higher end for a given market and then worked their way down into the more accessible tiers? Even this article mentions the iPhone SE.
    ....and I believe a HomePod Mini will rear its head before another year goes by. 
    1) But Apple has never used "mini" to describe a more affordable product. /s

    2) I'd love for the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms to be able to replace the Amazon Echos and Echo Dots, but that's not going to happen if Siri is still anemic when these products eventually launch. $200 is still a high for an alarm clock, "clock radio," and white noise machine in the bedroom, but it's doable. Even those the HomePod will seem tiny to most at fist glance, it's still huge for a nightstand. In the kitchen, if it can't do more than one timer at a time and you can't name the timers it's not a kitchen option, despite the reviews showing it being used in that environment. I'm hoping that we only have to wait for WWDC 2018 for a proper App Store (PodKit?). 
    HomePod will be a billion dollar business in a year, no matter the anemic Siri. Building off of that makes the same amount of sense as anything that Google or Amazon are doing, and all three benefit from native streaming music.

    Selling two HomePod Mini's for $400, also known as "the stereo bundle", would be an easy sell.

    Just read that Sonos responded to the HomePod with an ad; that's not a good call.
    Did you run the numbers? That’s not even 300k units. I wouldn’t surprised if launch day is already a “billion dollar business.”
    $350 x 3,000,000 unit sales = $1,050,000,000 or $1B
    Thanks. I “ran the numbers,” but I was off by a decimal place. 3M does seem to high for first day sales, but I can picture a million at the upper end.
  • Reply 22 of 59
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,862member
    Soli said:
    tmay said:
    Soli said:
    tmay said:
    Soli said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    theLedger said:
    I doubt the veracity of this article. Apple has staked out the high quality sound end of the market with Siri functionality. Creating a smaller version would require a very different strategy and approach. Amazon sells cheap Echos because they want people to leverage Amazon services. However, after a few weeks of the novelty wearing off, most people use these devices to listen to music and get the weather. 

    I also doubt that a stylus will be made for the iPhone. The stylus makes sense for the iPad Pro because the advanced functionality for writing, notes, drawing, etc. demand a high precision device. You don't need it for pointers and writing on a phone sized screen is not easy or natural. 

    Just because the market is doing something doesn't mean that Apple is going to follow. There has to be real world functional use cases, not just features in search of a solution. 
    Name a product category where Apple hasn't started at a higher end for a given market and then worked their way down into the more accessible tiers? Even this article mentions the iPhone SE.
    ....and I believe a HomePod Mini will rear its head before another year goes by. 
    1) But Apple has never used "mini" to describe a more affordable product. /s

    2) I'd love for the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms to be able to replace the Amazon Echos and Echo Dots, but that's not going to happen if Siri is still anemic when these products eventually launch. $200 is still a high for an alarm clock, "clock radio," and white noise machine in the bedroom, but it's doable. Even those the HomePod will seem tiny to most at fist glance, it's still huge for a nightstand. In the kitchen, if it can't do more than one timer at a time and you can't name the timers it's not a kitchen option, despite the reviews showing it being used in that environment. I'm hoping that we only have to wait for WWDC 2018 for a proper App Store (PodKit?). 
    HomePod will be a billion dollar business in a year, no matter the anemic Siri. Building off of that makes the same amount of sense as anything that Google or Amazon are doing, and all three benefit from native streaming music.

    Selling two HomePod Mini's for $400, also known as "the stereo bundle", would be an easy sell.

    Just read that Sonos responded to the HomePod with an ad; that's not a good call.
    Did you run the numbers? That’s not even 300k units. I wouldn’t surprised if launch day is already a “billion dollar business.”
    $350 x 3,000,000 unit sales = $1,050,000,000 or $1B
    Thanks. I “ran the numbers,” but I was off by a decimal place. 3M does seem to high for first day sales, but I can picture a million at the upper end.
    It's not a big deal what the initial numbers are if the initial buyers are positive on the audio capabilities, and are willing to wait on the Siri upgrades/updates. It sounds like that is the case.

    Apple's success at that price point bodes well for Google, Amazon, and even Sonos introducing yet again higher priced devices targeted to more discerning listeners wanting higher quality audio.

    The next gold rush?

    https://www.ped30.com/2018/02/09/new-products/

    This analyst is predicting 6 million unit sales; take that with a grain of NaCL.
    edited February 9
  • Reply 23 of 59
    Why would Apple strip away the only thing anyone seems to agree is market leading about the HomePod, namely, sound quality?

    is it any surprise that Google & Amazon are leading in AI & parsing queries? That was their core competency for years going into this market. They haven’t had great luck building standalone hardware. Now that they are leaning into something they are already good at, they are finding more success. Amazon has done this once before with Kindle. But only so far as it leveraged the company’s core book selling competency. The phone crashed and burned. 

    Apple has always featured brilliant hardware design with solid software to run said hardware. But they haven’t shown much success by building a software competency that later resulted in new hardware. Unless I’m missing something. 

    Apple would be wise to stick with the high end hardware features. At least until they prove competency in AI & voice interfaces. 
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 24 of 59
    ...is an acoustically matched if processor reduced satellite speaker (for stereo) a reasonable anticipation...?
    It seems like a good idea, but my guess (for what little that's worth) is that Apple won't bother. I base that on how it has handled other product categories. For example, expanding an Apple wireless network meant buying another router, not just a WiFi extender.

    There's also Apple's (in)famous culture of distilling everything down to minimalist ideals. Why make two products when they can just sell two pieces of a single product? Especially if the second product may confuse casual buyers. I can imagine some people I know mistakenly buying the satellite, thinking it's just a less expensive version of the HomePod.

    Plus I'll bet a week's salary that single-unit sales will outnumber stereo pairs by ten to one, so there's not enough incentive for Apple to commit the resources required to make one.

    Finally, since the big feature of the HomePod is acoustic modelling, and both speakers in a stereo pair would need to accomplish that task independently, a satellite likely wouldn't be much less expensive than the primary unit anyway.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 25 of 59
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,862member
    ...is an acoustically matched if processor reduced satellite speaker (for stereo) a reasonable anticipation...?
    It seems like a good idea, but my guess (for what little that's worth) is that Apple won't bother. I base that on how it has handled other product categories. For example, expanding an Apple wireless network meant buying another router, not just a WiFi extender.

    There's also Apple's (in)famous culture of distilling everything down to minimalist ideals. Why make two products when they can just sell two pieces of a single product? Especially if the second product may confuse casual buyers. I can imagine some people I know mistakenly buying the satellite, thinking it's just a less expensive version of the HomePod.

    Plus I'll bet a week's salary that single-unit sales will outnumber stereo pairs by ten to one, so there's not enough incentive for Apple to commit the resources required to make one.

    Finally, since the big feature of the HomePod is acoustic modelling, and both speakers in a stereo pair would need to accomplish that task independently, a satellite likely wouldn't be much less expensive than the primary unit anyway.
    I agree that a satellite speakers version doesn't make any sense; the satellite requires almost the same build. Even if a lower end version of the HomePod were targeted as a stereo pair in a bundle, both would be identical, and either could be used for setup or control, just as with the current HomePod.
     
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 59
    mr omr o Posts: 1,043member
    A new Apple Pencil that is compatible with the trackpad of the MacBook Pro and the Magic Trackpad would be awesome.

    >:x
    boboliciouswatto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 59
    tmay said:
    ...is an acoustically matched if processor reduced satellite speaker (for stereo) a reasonable anticipation...?
    It seems like a good idea, but my guess (for what little that's worth) is that Apple won't bother. I base that on how it has handled other product categories. For example, expanding an Apple wireless network meant buying another router, not just a WiFi extender.

    There's also Apple's (in)famous culture of distilling everything down to minimalist ideals. Why make two products when they can just sell two pieces of a single product? Especially if the second product may confuse casual buyers. I can imagine some people I know mistakenly buying the satellite, thinking it's just a less expensive version of the HomePod.

    Plus I'll bet a week's salary that single-unit sales will outnumber stereo pairs by ten to one, so there's not enough incentive for Apple to commit the resources required to make one.

    Finally, since the big feature of the HomePod is acoustic modelling, and both speakers in a stereo pair would need to accomplish that task independently, a satellite likely wouldn't be much less expensive than the primary unit anyway.
    I agree that a satellite speakers version doesn't make any sense; the satellite requires almost the same build. Even if a lower end version of the HomePod were targeted as a stereo pair in a bundle, both would be identical, and either could be used for setup or control, just as with the current HomePod.
     
    I guess we'll see, and an either/or may be the call, although in a stereo pair of wireless speakers I acquired a few years ago, there was a master (with dock) and a slave, presumably one 'brain' controlling a less capable output speaker. That system design flaw was a reliance on wireless, which has been 'inconsistent' in reliability at best. I have another 'stereo' powered singular speaker, which also has had dropouts on wifi - hopefully a mini jack external input will find its way into this product... Would it be wise to at least offer the reliability of good old copper wires, caps and coils as found in legacy audiophile gear, much still working well after multiple decades - sustainable audio ?
    edited February 9
  • Reply 28 of 59
    chasmchasm Posts: 701member
    I was set to buy a HomePod, but I need to say that as many of the reviews come in I am really hesitant now. Apparently there's no distinction of different people for voice recognition; if linked to your personal accounts then anyone can read back your texts. And if I understand it correctly, AirPlay connections are constantly broken.

    Not to mention the total ecosystem lock-in. I use Apple's iTunes and Music Match for 95% of my stuff but it would be nice to be able to use Spotify, Google Play, etc.

    The sound quality seems like a real achievement however.
    No distinction between different people is true. The claim that anyone can read back your texts is false (you control that option) AirPlay connections are broken is likely false (no review I have read, including from new owners, has mentioned such a thing), but even if that were true for some people, AirPlay 2 is coming and would fix that.

    So you're telling me that the Echo doesn't have "total ecosystem lock-in?" That the Google product doesn't have "total ecosystem lock-in?" Um ... have you done ANY research on this stuff yourself?

    You can use Spotify, Google Play Music, and any other streaming or digital audio source you want with a HomePod via AirPlay (or AirPlay 2 later). Podcasts, Apple Music and iTunes/iTunes Match are *native*, the others through AirPlay, but there is nothing stopping you using any digital audio from any source you like. Again, basic research on this appears not to have been done.

    That said, you might also consider the Sonos One if you don't think HomePod is for you. Not quite as great a sound quality, but better than any of the Alexa or Google Home crap, and it -- over time -- will support AirPlay 2, Siri control, and currently uses Bluetooth to play whatever and every service or audio source you want. The current sale makes it a good deal IMO for many people who don't need the best-in-class audio.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 29 of 59
    Apple dont make cheap alternative if it degrades the original intentions or market shares....Analysts my a___
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 59
    Zhang is just making things up. There is nothing to support these dartboard guesses.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 59
    That’s just daft. Apple won’t undercut its own first year sales of HomePod by offerering a cheap version months after the release of an entirely new product. 

    I suspect this “analyst” is being paid by a competitor in hopes that a rumor of a cheap HomePod a few months away will suppress sales of the real thing. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 59
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    chasm said:
    I was set to buy a HomePod, but I need to say that as many of the reviews come in I am really hesitant now. Apparently there's no distinction of different people for voice recognition; if linked to your personal accounts then anyone can read back your texts. And if I understand it correctly, AirPlay connections are constantly broken.

    Not to mention the total ecosystem lock-in. I use Apple's iTunes and Music Match for 95% of my stuff but it would be nice to be able to use Spotify, Google Play, etc.

    The sound quality seems like a real achievement however.
    The claim that anyone can read back your texts is false (you control that option).
    How? Any new iMessages (haven't tested SMS since I rarely get them) I have come to my account can be played via text-to-speech on my HomePod by simply saying "Hey, Siri, play my messages." Since there are no voice profiles for different users it's accessible by anyone. This includes the iPhone being in Airplane Mode to simulate being away from the residence. Anyone can also respond to anyone via Siri on the HomePod via my iMessage account.
    edited February 9 gatorguy
  • Reply 33 of 59
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    theLedger said:
    I doubt the veracity of this article. Apple has staked out the high quality sound end of the market with Siri functionality. Creating a smaller version would require a very different strategy and approach. Amazon sells cheap Echos because they want people to leverage Amazon services. However, after a few weeks of the novelty wearing off, most people use these devices to listen to music and get the weather. 

    I also doubt that a stylus will be made for the iPhone. The stylus makes sense for the iPad Pro because the advanced functionality for writing, notes, drawing, etc. demand a high precision device. You don't need it for pointers and writing on a phone sized screen is not easy or natural. 

    Just because the market is doing something doesn't mean that Apple is going to follow. There has to be real world functional use cases, not just features in search of a solution. 
    Name a product category where Apple hasn't started at a higher end for a given market and then worked their way down into the more accessible tiers? Even this article mentions the iPhone SE.
    ....and I believe a HomePod Mini will rear its head before another year goes by. 
    HomePod Air... 
  • Reply 34 of 59
    Soli said:
    chasm said:
    I was set to buy a HomePod, but I need to say that as many of the reviews come in I am really hesitant now. Apparently there's no distinction of different people for voice recognition; if linked to your personal accounts then anyone can read back your texts. And if I understand it correctly, AirPlay connections are constantly broken.

    Not to mention the total ecosystem lock-in. I use Apple's iTunes and Music Match for 95% of my stuff but it would be nice to be able to use Spotify, Google Play, etc.

    The sound quality seems like a real achievement however.
    The claim that anyone can read back your texts is false (you control that option).
    How? Any new iMessages (haven't tested SMS since I rarely get them) I have come to my account can be played via text-to-speech on my HomePod by simply saying "Hey, Siri, play my messages." Since there are no voice profiles for different users it's accessible by anyone. This includes the iPhone being in Airplane Mode to simulate being away from the residence. Anyone can also respond to anyone via Siri on the HomePod via my iMessage account.
    In the HomePod setup you can turn that function off. That’s how.

    watto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 35 of 59
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    AppleZulu said:
    Soli said:
    chasm said:
    I was set to buy a HomePod, but I need to say that as many of the reviews come in I am really hesitant now. Apparently there's no distinction of different people for voice recognition; if linked to your personal accounts then anyone can read back your texts. And if I understand it correctly, AirPlay connections are constantly broken.

    Not to mention the total ecosystem lock-in. I use Apple's iTunes and Music Match for 95% of my stuff but it would be nice to be able to use Spotify, Google Play, etc.

    The sound quality seems like a real achievement however.
    The claim that anyone can read back your texts is false (you control that option).
    How? Any new iMessages (haven't tested SMS since I rarely get them) I have come to my account can be played via text-to-speech on my HomePod by simply saying "Hey, Siri, play my messages." Since there are no voice profiles for different users it's accessible by anyone. This includes the iPhone being in Airplane Mode to simulate being away from the residence. Anyone can also respond to anyone via Siri on the HomePod via my iMessage account.
    In the HomePod setup you can turn that function off. That’s how.
    But you have completely disable the feature to prevent that. That's not what I define "smart" or "intelligent." I think a more accurate statement would've been to say "True, but you can disable that feature (and others) if you're home has people coming though that you don't want to access personal account data." Perhaps even add in something hopeful, like, "I believe it's probable Apple is working on adding multiple accounts and distant voice profiles in the future, just like all the others have done," and to note that "the others only added these features more recently despite having these home-based systems out for a while—even years—against this being day 1 for the HomePod release."
    edited February 9
  • Reply 36 of 59
    AppleZulu said:
    That’s just daft. Apple won’t undercut its own first year sales of HomePod by offerering a cheap version months after the release of an entirely new product.
    I don't know if a scaled back, less expensive version would undercut the current model. I've been thinking it would be fun to try setting up a voice control system for the entertainment system in the living room. I thought about a HomePod as the input device, but I can't get myself to pay for $350 worth of fancy speaker I don't need to get the $50 worth of voice control I want. I *might* consider a less expensive device in that role though. That means a HomePod Mini might generate a sale for Apple that otherwise would be more likely to go to Amazon.
  • Reply 37 of 59
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    AppleZulu said:
    That’s just daft. Apple won’t undercut its own first year sales of HomePod by offerering a cheap version months after the release of an entirely new product.
    I don't know if a scaled back, less expensive version would undercut the current model. I've been thinking it would be fun to try setting up a voice control system for the entertainment system in the living room. I thought about a HomePod as the input device, but I can't get myself to pay for $350 worth of fancy speaker I don't need to get the $50 worth of voice control I want. I *might* consider a less expensive device in that role though. That means a HomePod Mini might generate a sale for Apple that otherwise would be more likely to go to Amazon.
    It's like saying the iPhone SE will undercut the iPhone X, yet we saw this past year Apple introduce their largest lineup of iPhones, with the largest price difference, and new higher-end and lower-end prices. Then we saw the quarterly results which showed Apple's selling a more units than ever for a top-tier iPhone, which caused the ASP for the category to go up and dispelling the myth that the cheaper iPhones would undercut it.

    I see plenty of room for less expensive and more expensive options in this new product category.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 59
    Soli said:
    AppleZulu said:
    Soli said:
    chasm said:
    I was set to buy a HomePod, but I need to say that as many of the reviews come in I am really hesitant now. Apparently there's no distinction of different people for voice recognition; if linked to your personal accounts then anyone can read back your texts. And if I understand it correctly, AirPlay connections are constantly broken.

    Not to mention the total ecosystem lock-in. I use Apple's iTunes and Music Match for 95% of my stuff but it would be nice to be able to use Spotify, Google Play, etc.

    The sound quality seems like a real achievement however.
    The claim that anyone can read back your texts is false (you control that option).
    How? Any new iMessages (haven't tested SMS since I rarely get them) I have come to my account can be played via text-to-speech on my HomePod by simply saying "Hey, Siri, play my messages." Since there are no voice profiles for different users it's accessible by anyone. This includes the iPhone being in Airplane Mode to simulate being away from the residence. Anyone can also respond to anyone via Siri on the HomePod via my iMessage account.
    In the HomePod setup you can turn that function off. That’s how.
    But you have completely disable the feature to prevent that. That's not what I define "smart" or "intelligent." I think a more accurate statement would've been to say "True, but you can disable that feature (and others) if you're home has people coming though that you don't want to access personal account data." Perhaps even add in something hopeful, like, "I believe it's probable Apple is working on adding multiple accounts and distant voice profiles in the future, just like all the others have done," and to note that "the others only added these features more recently despite having these home-based systems out for a while—even years—against this being day 1 for the HomePod release."
    I appreciate you telling me how I could’ve done a better job responding to your earlier question. I’m sure that’s very helpful.

    The HomePod’s competitors offer voice recognition to differentiate different accounts, but also caution against using voice recognition as a security measure. So they offer a feature that may work sort of o.k., but is easily hacked, and leaves you vulnerable to nefarious snooping, calling, and even purchasing. Roommates can do voice impressions. People who are related often have similar voices without even trying. So if you want security, the only way to have it is to turn the feature off.

    So in the end, this follows a very well-worn theme at this point. Other manufacturers get to market with something first, but with marginal quality, and dismal security. Apple arrives later, but with better and more secure implementation. Then some people reliably go on about how the others’ poor implementation is somehow better. Not for me, thanks.
    StrangeDaysRayz2016
  • Reply 39 of 59
    AppleZulu said:

    [...] So in the end, this follows a very well-worn theme at this point. Other manufacturers get to market with something first, but with marginal quality, and dismal security. Apple arrives later, but with better and more secure implementation. Then some people reliably go on about how the others’ poor implementation is somehow better. Not for me, thanks.
    Opening certain network ports exposes some risk, yet Apple lets ME decide whether the benefits of the service using that port outweigh the risk. Airbags around the front passenger seat of a vehicle are a benefit to adults but a threat to children, so people who aren't putting kids in that seat can use them but those who do can turn them off.

    The argument that security requires eliminating certain features altogether ignores the obvious alternative of an on/off switch. The device could be delivered with certain features disabled as the default, but provide means for the user to activate them if desired.
    Soli
  • Reply 40 of 59
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,889member
    AppleZulu said:
    Soli said:
    AppleZulu said:
    Soli said:
    chasm said:
    I was set to buy a HomePod, but I need to say that as many of the reviews come in I am really hesitant now. Apparently there's no distinction of different people for voice recognition; if linked to your personal accounts then anyone can read back your texts. And if I understand it correctly, AirPlay connections are constantly broken.

    Not to mention the total ecosystem lock-in. I use Apple's iTunes and Music Match for 95% of my stuff but it would be nice to be able to use Spotify, Google Play, etc.

    The sound quality seems like a real achievement however.
    The claim that anyone can read back your texts is false (you control that option).
    How? Any new iMessages (haven't tested SMS since I rarely get them) I have come to my account can be played via text-to-speech on my HomePod by simply saying "Hey, Siri, play my messages." Since there are no voice profiles for different users it's accessible by anyone. This includes the iPhone being in Airplane Mode to simulate being away from the residence. Anyone can also respond to anyone via Siri on the HomePod via my iMessage account.
    In the HomePod setup you can turn that function off. That’s how.
    But you have completely disable the feature to prevent that. That's not what I define "smart" or "intelligent." I think a more accurate statement would've been to say "True, but you can disable that feature (and others) if you're home has people coming though that you don't want to access personal account data." Perhaps even add in something hopeful, like, "I believe it's probable Apple is working on adding multiple accounts and distant voice profiles in the future, just like all the others have done," and to note that "the others only added these features more recently despite having these home-based systems out for a while—even years—against this being day 1 for the HomePod release."
    I appreciate you telling me how I could’ve done a better job responding to your earlier question. I’m sure that’s very helpful.

    The HomePod’s competitors offer voice recognition to differentiate different accounts, but also caution against using voice recognition as a security measure....People who are related often have similar voices without even trying. So if you want security, the only way to have it is to turn the feature off.
    People that are related may have very similar facial features, but I doubt you'd advise iPhone X owners to disable FaceID "just in case". And FWIW my home assistant has yet to mistake someone else's voice for mine or my wife's so it's not anything we are going to worry ourselves about.  If anything it prevents "not-my-voice" from accessing my personal account or the texts, calls or calendar in it. And I don't have to turn anything off to make sure visitors to my home can't access my account. 

    Typically the dismissal of features as being useful on other devices only lasts until Apple offers it, and sometimes exactly as done or nearly so on those "other devices". 
    edited February 10 Soli
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