On June 6 Apple Inc officially unveiled HomePod, a smart speaker to challenge the likes of Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home. With the Homepod, Apple is not just looking to get a slice of the lucrative smart speaker market pie, currently dominated by Amazon. The company is also pinning its hopes on the HomePod becoming the device which helps Apple to achieve its ambitious aim to double revenue from its services business by 2021.
The HomePod, which comes with Apple’s digital assistant Siri built-in, is expected to go on sale in the US, UK and Australia from December for US$349 (approx. NTS$10,564) — nearly twice the price of devices sold by its market competitors.
According to reporting by Bloomberg, the HomePod is the first all-new hardware product to be released by Apple since the Apple Watch in 2015 and comes at an important time for the US tech giant, which is seeking out new revenue streams having become heavily reliant on the iPhone in recent years.
The lucrative market for Internet-connected speakers and other smart home technology may just be large enough to help Apple achieve its aim of diversifying its business lines. According to market consultancy firm Strategy Analytics, shipments of smart speakers have jumped nearly 600 percent year-on-year, increasing by 4.2 million units in the fourth quarter of last year, with Amazon and Google taking 88 and 10 percent of market share, respectively.
Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2017/06/20/2003672879
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