Get Two Sonos Speakers for Price of Single Apple HomePod

Elizabeth Williams
June 8, 2017

It also (like every AI Speaker out there) boasts of a touchscreen upper-surface that can be used to trigger Siri.

While Amazon Echo and Google Home began stealing some market share from Sonos, Sonos prided itself on the excellent audio engineering that went into its speakers.

The moves announced Monday escalate Apple's technological battle of wits with Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. Apple still has a lot to tell us about the HomePod, however from the details shared in the official press release show that the speaker can be set up very similarly to how a user pairs a set of AirPods, with Bluetooth automatically pairing the speaker to an iPhone when put in close proximity.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the Homepod. And of course Siri inside the HomePod will be able to do more for you than just play music from Apple's streaming service. But the real selling point, as far as Apple is concerned, is the HomePod's sound quality.

HomePod will be available starting in December in the USA, United Kingdom and Australia for $349, almost twice the price of Amazon's original Echo smart speaker.

"The entry of more players integrating AI and a range of smart solutions into speakers next year could drive [mainland] sales to a couple of million units from next year before recording sales of more than 10 million units per year by 2022", said Neil Shah, a partner at Counterpoint. Both speakers can respond to voice requests for the news, weather and tasks such as turning on the lights. Spending on VPA-enabled wireless speakers is expected to eclipse $2 billion by 2020, according to the consulting firm Gartner.

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HomePod users may initially be constrained by Siri's lack of capabilities as compared to Alexa, which also boasts the ability to order millions of Amazon products as well as food from restaurants like Domino's. Google, meanwhile, previewed new speaker features such as hands-free phone calling during its software conference last month. Like other smart speakers, audio information isn't sent to Apple's cloud until this voice command has been issued, Apple said.

Like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, the HomePod will play music while also helping people to manage their lives and homes. It would be Apple's first new product since its smartwatch in 2015.

Those devices are a gateway to the companies' other technology and money-making opportunities.

HomePod is created to work with the Apple Music subscription service and can produce rich sound while tapping into the artificial intelligence power of Siri. It's also what Microsoft is targeting with the Surface Pro; a new model comes out on June 15.

After years of delay, Amazon and Apple have finally reached an agreement to bring the Amazon Prime video app to Apple TV set-top-boxes everywhere.

Along with upgraded versions of iPad and Mac laptops, Apple unveiled an iMac Pro work station that had the computing built in behind the screen and was touted as the most powerful computer the company has ever made.

Other reports by VgToday

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