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Newly launched HomePod completes Apple’s seamless ecosystem

Newly launched HomePod completes Apple’s seamless ecosystem

The new HomePod even pairs with Apple TV 4K for a home theatre experience, and eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) support on Apple TV 4K enables customers to make HomePod the audio system for all devices connected to the TV. Plus, with Siri on HomePod, an iPhone user can control what’s playing on their Apple TV hands-free.

Apple’s new HomePod belongs to the premium offering priced at Rs. 32,900. Apple’s new HomePod belongs to the premium offering priced at Rs. 32,900.

Two years after discontinuing the original HomePod, introduced only in February 2018, Apple has revitalised its smart speaker offering with a better-sounding and intelligent smart speaker. Joining the sea of smart speakers available from not just Amazon and Google but third-party speakers powered by Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, Apple’s new HomePod belongs to the premium offering priced at Rs. 32,900. But for Apple, it hasn’t been about achieving a large market share in the smart speaker segment in India but about completing the seamless Apple ecosystem experience.

Integrating seamlessly with the Apple Ecosystem, the HomePod leverages ultra-wideband technology for handing off whatever is being played on the iPhone. The new HomePod even pairs with Apple TV 4K for a home theatre experience, and eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) support on Apple TV 4K enables customers to make HomePod the audio system for all devices connected to the TV. Plus, with Siri on HomePod, an iPhone user can control what’s playing on their Apple TV hands-free. And ‘Find My’ on HomePod will enable users to locate their Apple devices, like an iPhone, by playing a sound on the misplaced device. Using Siri, users can also ask for the location of friends or loved ones who share their location via the app. In addition to all this, the new hardware can also recognise up to six voices, so each member of the home can hear their playlists, ask for reminders, and set calendar events.

Market Dominance

Having been in existence since 2014, smart speakers only entered India in 2017 with the launch of Amazon Echo. Google quickly followed it. Apple and many other brands, including Xiaomi and pTron, introduced their smart speakers in India in 2020. Yet Amazon has dominated the segment with over 85% market share in the smart speaker category with its wide range of products, from Echo Dot 3rd gen priced at Rs 3,499 to Echo Studio retailing at Rs 22,999. Older models of smart speakers and accessories from Amazon are available for an even lower cost. Unlike Amazon, Google has a limited portfolio in India, including Nest Audio and Nest mini. Apple has only two smart speakers in its kitty – HomePod mini and the new HomePod launched recently. However, with the increasing adoption of these speakers and voice assistants embedded in smart TVs, the craze for smart speakers has faded. Over 35 speaker models have been discontinued since April 2022, and many companies aren’t even releasing updates.
 

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Published on: Jan 20, 2023, 9:02 AM IST
Posted by: Tarab Zaidi, Jan 20, 2023, 8:52 AM IST
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