Homepod is just one of the announcements at WWDC 2017, and it is certainly not the only strange name also announced, however Apple didn’t seem to say much about the smart speaker. Apple confirmed that Siri was integrated and they also spoke about some of the internals such as the A8 chip, High excursion Woofer, Six‑microphone array, even‑tweeter array and seamless mesh fabric.
Apple went on to display how the sound quality from such a small device can rival some top end speakers. Their webs tire states “Place HomePod anywhere in the room. It automatically analyzes the acoustics, adjusts the sound based on the speaker’s location, and steers the music in the optimal direction. Whether HomePod is against the wall, on a shelf, or in the middle of the room, everyone gets an immersive listening experience.”
Apple chose not to discuss anything about the software and Siri, this was seen by many as a silly move by Apple considering the Amazon Echo is leading the market share and Google Home is gaining ground. However, I believe that this was a classic poker type play, by unveiling the Homepod they have shown those who are interested in the smart speaker market that Apple have a part to play keeping any serious buyer to hold off a purchase until they get to see hands-on.
During the hands-on testing after the announcement Siri wasn’t functional which to me shows that a) they still have several months to tweak the software side and make Siri Smarter which I think will be a big annoucement in their September event, b) they also keep their competitors from seeing just how smart Siri has becoming which would give them several months to improve their own products.
As a long time Apple fan I’m first to admit that Siri has fallen short in the AI race however I truly believe that when they didn’t acquire bixby they showed that they were confident that what they were working on with Siri would push them back to the lead, also several tech journalists have also confirmed that Siri has been rebuilt from the ground up and whilst this cannot be verified I have already seen improvements in Siri’s responses in iOS 11 beta alone. One Things for sure all will be revealed in December when the Homepod goes on sale.