Apple Launches HomePod-A Smart Speaker for Homes

HomePod is set to ship this December in the US, UK, and Australia, and is priced at $349.

HomePod's integration with Apple Music will be an advantage, particularly if the customer is already entrenched in Apple's ecosystem, subscribes to Apple Music, and places high priority on music streaming when buying a smart speaker.

Apple had plenty of other announcements. "We feel like we reinvented that in the portable player area, and we think we can reinvent it in the home as well". Microsoft also has announced its own speaker with Samsung's Harman business; it will use Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant.

While the conference address was mostly attended by Apple developers, who had been there for the three-day conference, the front rows were filled with high school students, the majority of whom were girls.

It had been rumoured in recent months that Apple would be introducing a smart, stand-alone Siri speaker, similar in functionality to products such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

"If we let [fear] consume us, then we don't move", she said.

REUTERS/Stephen LamPhotographers take a close look at the Apple HomePod which the company unveiled at the WWDC 2017 in California.

Among the new features of iOS 11 is the ability to make person-to-person payments through Apple's messaging app, thanks to new integration with the Apple Pay system. Cook is aiming to double services revenue, which also includes products like iCloud and Apple Music, to around $50 billion by 2020.

HomePod is definitely bigger than Google Home or Amazon Echo. The new model starts at $649 and will start shipping next week. It is also compatible with Apple's HomeKit, allowing users to control connected home devices with speech.

Wireless speakers are a booming tech category at present and are seen as a gateway into turning our homes into "smart" homes. The speaker will sell for about $350 in December. It can be used to send messages receive updates about news and weather, control smart devices, and much more. So, if you have Amazon Prime, you can now watch all kinds of movies and series right from your Apple TV. Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted at SP2 Restaurant in downtown Monday night for a private event. Federighi highlighted stories about Iceland after a search in Safari for holidays to the island. If that doesn't happen before the speaker launches later this year, however, the two colors Apple has picked are at least subtle and non-offending.

The Echo, released in 2015, and Google Home, released past year, were the first entrants in a promising market.