What’s right and wrong with HomePod

In a four-way competition to possess a intelligent home, Ben Thompson puts Apple in third place.

 

Thompson weighs a strengths and weaknesses of 4 contenders—Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook—in The Battle for a Home, posted Wednesday on Stratechery.

Here’s his take on a HomePod:

Apple’s strengths:

The HomePod is accurately what we would design from Apple: a best hardware during a top price. The sound is glorious and, naturally, even improved if we buy two. The HomePod is also — again, as we would design from Apple — sealed into a Apple ecosystem; this is from one viewpoint a weakness, though this is a Strength section, and a existence is that people are some-more committed to their iPhones — and so Apple’s ecosystem — than they are to home speakers, definition that for many business this reduction is a strength.

Along those lines, Apple is clearly a many appealing choice from a remoteness perspective: a association doesn’t sell ads, has done remoteness a open priority, and is so a usually choice for those shaken about carrying an Internet-connected microphone in their house.

Apple’s weaknesses:

Apple, even some-more than Google, seemed blinded by a smartphone success. This isn’t a surprise: a ultimate indicate of Android was to be a passage to Google’s services; it follows, then, that if home inclination are about services, that Google would be some-more attuned to a event (and a threat). Apple, on a other hand, is and always will be a product company; a association offers services to assistance sell a hardware, not a other approach around, and it follows that a association would be heavily incentivized to insist that a iPhone and Apple Watch, that both offering appealing hardware margins and were differentiated by a formation of hardware and software, were improved home devices.

That, furthermore, explains Apple’s biggest weakness: a relations opening of Siri as compared to Alexa or Google Assistant. The problem isn’t a matter of trivia, though rather speed and reliability. Siri is consistently slower and some-more expected to make mistakes in transcription than possibly Alexa or Google Assistant (and, for a record, some-more expected to destroy trivia questions as well). As always, Apple is a many manly instance of how strengths equal weaknesses: only as it was unavoidable that a services association like Amazon would be bad during product, a truly unusual product association like Apple will face elemental hurdles in services.

My take: The Battle for a Home is a must-read for anyone following a race. As is, for anyone following Apple, Apple’s Organizational Crossroads, a letter to that Thompson points during a end.


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