Have Apple left it too late to compete in the "Smart Speaker" market?

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  • Have Apple left it too late to compete in the "Smart Speaker" market?
  • FunkyDunc
    Member

    Maybe they just realise it’s a fad and not bothering

    All these speaking devices are not a resolution to a problem they are just a gimmick with a tiny weeny bit of helpful stuff

    Apple meanwhile are pitching themselves at a slightly different crowd who are happy to pay a premium for better audio quality,

    Well apparently they all sound rubbish.

    I’m a Luddite I will stick to Google on my phone and a decent Bluetooth speaker

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    I think Apple realise that Siri is “a bit shit” so aren’t pushing it until they’ve “done it better”.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Have Apple dropped the ball here, or have they simply sniffed out a market segment not currently served?

    Apple Fanbois!

    Premier Icon somouk
    Subscriber

    I think they’ve held back to see how the market develops, seen the success of the likes of Bose and Sonos and decided to step in to that market. It’s a sideline to their main business so if it’s rubbish and they don’t sell then they’ll just drop back out the market.

    Nothing ventured nothing gained and all that.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Nah. They’re never first to market with any product and what’s the point in having a separate device to talk to when you can integrate it into all your devices. They’re going to release one for sure but these things won’t last. The tech will be incorporated into everything. Your fridge, Tv, cars, coffee machines etc.

    I actually find Siri to be not too bad as long as you have a good internet connection. I often dictate text messages via Siri for hands free messaging. Not super slick but fine for simple commands.

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
    Subscriber

    I reckon they’ll wait until they can make siri more contextual. Currently its basically just a voice controlled search facility/dictation machine. Being able to take the output of one request and use it in the next will be the key. Perhaps they’ll then make use of their ownerhip of beats audio to produce something eye-wateringly expensive but beautiful to use that also sounds great (on full volume*)

    *my car has a beats audio system. Its shit unless turned up to 11.

    I think Apple realise that Siri is “a bit shit” so aren’t pushing it until they’ve “done it better”.

    Anyone tried to use the google voice control?

    There was a story in the news of a woman who managed to call the emergency services after an accident using Siri on her iPhone. Most of the time I could be perfectly healthy and end up dead of an aneurysm screamin OK Google at my phone it’s that crap.

    The tech will be incorporated into everything. Your fridge, Tv, cars, coffee machines etc.

    This is probably a stumbling point for them, they like the Apple eco-system, but they won’t be making an iBedsidelamp, iCarHeater, iDimmerSwitch so they need to figure out how they’re going to interact with everyone else’s tech.

    TBH I don’t see the point, Chromecast etc make sense as they replace your CD player, but unless your house is massive (and therefore probably has this tech built in), I don’t really need to be able to switch a light on from my phone, or have my Fridge automatically put milk on a shopping list.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    There is currently no smart speaker that works with Apple Music. Apple are clearly very serious about Apple Music, but people *will* leave Apple Music (e.g. for Spotify) if Apple don’t get in the smart speaker market somehow. If they give up on the hardware market, they will have to get onboard with Amazon Echo or Google Home.

    I’ve already thought about going back to Spotify just so I can have hands-free music in the kitchen.

    I’ve already thought about going back to Spotify just so I can have hands-free music in the kitchen.

    Except people leave spotify because you can’t voice control it from Andorid.

    Come back Microsoft, all is forgiven!

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Apple Fanbois!

    As an aside, am I the only person who thinks this sounds like it should be a French drink?

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    but people *will* leave Apple Music (e.g. for Spotify) if Apple don’t get in the smart speaker market somehow.

    It’s slated for a December release. Expensive though, but apparently much better sound quality than the competition.

    There was a story in the news of a woman who managed to call the emergency services after an accident using Siri on her iPhone.

    personally I find the voice recognition on Siri excellent and use it all the time for making calls or putting things in my diary, etc, or for playing music in the car. Also dictating text messages or even just typing stuff into a search engine. (Not in public obviously!) I think people are just suggesting the things you can get Siri to do are a bit limited compared to e.g. Alexa (but then the argument is whether these are actually functional rather than gimmicky things)

    but they won’t be making an iBedsidelamp, iCarHeater, iDimmerSwitch so they need to figure out how they’re going to interact with everyone else’s tech.

    They’ve already figured it out, it’s called HomeKit. The manufacturers just need to make their devices compatible with it.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Come back Microsoft, all is forgiven!

    😆

    It is interesting how this whole market is a slightly confused mess of incompatible devices and services. Apple used to do a great job of clearing up that confusion by being a “one stop shop” for computery-stuff, but even they have lost interest in some of the peripherals.

    it’s like lots of walled gardens but with some secret passageways from one garden to another, but not that garden over there, no way 🙂

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    its only a gimmick until apple introduce it

    see applepay, wireless charging, etc

    tbf their ubiquity does help them force people/businesses to adopt

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
    Subscriber

    It needs an open standard API between all the devices. We all know how that turns out.

    They’ve already figured it out, it’s called HomeKit. The manufacturers just need to make their devices compatible with it.

    A bit like USB then. We can expect Apple iDewellingAccessories, it’ll be almost exactly like the HomeKit stuff, except whiter, and not compatible.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    its only a gimmick until apple introduce it

    Maybe. I think what Amazon have done well is to let people experiment with the tech by offering a low cost of entry. The Echo Dot is £50 and the full Echo has repeatedly been on offer for <£100. If all you use it for is a Bluetooth speaker that has a (voice-activated) radio built-in, that’s not a unreasonable price. Apple’s HomePod is reportedly around the £300 mark, which is not “take a punt” money in my book.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    There have been lots of threads from people asking about Amazon Echo. Amazon are also pushing hard on the “smart home” with a whole new range of Echo devices. Google seem to be mopping up the rest of the market with Google Home and I hear other electronics manufacturers are entering the market too.

    Apple meanwhile are pitching themselves at a slightly different crowd who are happy to pay a premium for better audio quality, yet will be locked into Apple Music and Siri, who is universally acknowledged as being a bit weak as a virtual assistant.

    Have Apple dropped the ball here, or have they simply sniffed out a market segment not currently served?

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    Can’t find it right now but there was a recent graph of what actually gets used with Alexa – the vast majority is simple stuff like setting timers/alarms, read the news, play a radio station, etc. Not a lot for smart home stuff – lights and the like. That’s despite mostly selling to the techie/early-adopter crowd. So all the thousands of Alexa skills don’t get a lot of use beyond initial novelty, meaning anything Siri-wise doesn’t need to be all that smart either.

    Outside of the “smart” thing though I’m interested in HomePod (and the AirPlay2 stuff that others are planning). Sonus kit is nice but there’s still not a good way to continue listening to a podcast I was listening to – there’s almost too much control on the speaker side.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    I think most smart speakers are a bit shite.

    E.g. Sonos supposed to be the MEGA, but compare them to a wired speaker & they are dire.

    A streamer & wired speakers are a far better option when it comes to audio quality.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    It needs an open standard API between all the devices. We all know how that turns out.

    Yup.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    Apple fanboy here – who plays CDs on a “hi-fi”.

    Anyway I thought vinyl was back.

    Premier Icon Trailrider Jim
    Subscriber

    I can’t understand why Apple haven’t brought a range of actual TVs out. Think of all the obsessive, shallow consumerists that would die to show friends their new, sleek, ultra-cool TV with built-in Appleyness.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    There have been lots of threads from people asking about Amazon Echo. Amazon are also pushing hard on the “smart home” with a whole new range of Echo devices. Google seem to be mopping up the rest of the market with Google Home and I hear other electronics manufacturers are entering the market too.

    Apple meanwhile are pitching themselves at a slightly different crowd who are happy to pay a premium for better audio quality

    We’ve got an Echo (it was a present) and there’s no way I’d bother playing music on it. It’s fine for a radio but sonically it’s pathetic.
    In the other corner of the room I’ve got a B&W A5 which is superb and has real punch even in a big kitchen diner.
    Those two devices are worth in the region of £450. I’d gladly pay the same to have all the functionality and sound quality in one package, wether I used Apple Music or Spotify.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    its only a gimmick until apple introduce it

    see applepay

    You makea no sense. How can something that didn’t exist be a gimmick?

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Apple’s HomePod launch delayed until next year (CNET link…one of many)

    newrobdob
    Member

    I’m buying a module which means I can play stuff wirelessly to my separates system. Best of both worlds!

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Amazon has a way to sell you anything and want to know your habits.
    Google has search and shopping.

    Apple has?

    The market for the home speaker is not to provide you with a service it’s to sell their products through, Google & Amazon certainly have the back end to deliver that right now which is what makes them work well – here in Oz they are predicting google to have the initial advantage here as amazon hasn’t landed here.

    kerley
    Member

    I can’t understand why Apple haven’t brought a range of actual TVs out

    I would probably buy one. It would look nicer than other TVs (which is important as it is on display) and I imagine the OS would work a lot better than the SMART TVs I have tried/owned.

    Not everyone who appreciates Apple design is a shallow consumerist…

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    I can’t understand why Apple haven’t brought a range of actual TVs out

    I would probably buy one[/quote]

    It would probably be a Samsung panel anyway…

    submarined
    Member

    Except people leave spotify because you can’t voice control it from Andorid.

    You can with Google Home, and it’s pretty damn good. In fact, my 4 year old can use it. That’s not really a good thing.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    We’ve got an Echo (it was a present) and there’s no way I’d bother playing music on it. It’s fine for a radio but sonically it’s pathetic.

    Given it’s price point, a radio is exactly what it’s aiming at. For fancy speakers they produced the Dot with the audio/BT output. Cheaper than a cheap internet radio.

    I reckon it needs the ability to push messages to you to really be useful. As in, between 7.30 and 8am it’ll detect you are in the room and then tell you there’s an accident on the Awhatever without you having to ask it.

    Re voice control of Spotify, it seems to be possible via Android Auto, so seems crap if Google Home can’t do it.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    As in, between 7.30 and 8am it’ll detect you are in the room and then tell you there’s an accident on the Awhatever without you having to ask it.

    Or you could just say “Alexa, how’s my commute”. I’d much rather the computer waited for me to initiate the interaction.

    The Sonos:One looks quite good, and I think we will probably get one once Google & alexa are integrated into it.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    The Sonos:One looks quite good,

    We have one. It’s OK, but compared to our proper stereo or even the iMac it’s very much lo-fi rather than hi-fi.

    Fine for background music, but if I wanted to ‘listen to music’ I’d use the stereo instead (whose Amp cost 4x as much).

    We can control both via an iPhone, no voice stuff in this household!

    allthegear
    Member

    My Apple TV, which does perfectly good Siri through the microphone in the remote, Linn LK280 and Kans is never going to be beaten by any smart speaker for audio quality.

    Rachel

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Linn LK280 and Kans is never going to be beaten by any smart speaker for audio quality.

    And that is where people are missing what they are for. You have your devices plugged into proper speakers/amps if you want music at a high quality. As somebody said it’s a radio more than anything else and the main purpose is to extract cash from you

    andykirk
    Member

    No. Not too late. Apple will as usual do it better than everybody else. The other companies were too early.

    And what is going on with these irritating new YouTube notifications?

    oafishb
    Member

    The market for the home speaker is not to provide you with a service it’s to sell their products through

    Mike’s got it, right there.

    Google and Amazon are data collection businesses (as well as others obv). Products like Echo and Home are just conduits to either use you as the product then sell the data, or sell you more stuff. And this is fine, everyone knows this.

    Apple seems to me more ‘hardware-y’ to me if that makes sense.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Apple will as usual do it better than everybody else.

    No, they’ll just convince their fanbase that they have done it better than everyone else.

    Jamie
    Member

    Apple will as usual do it better than everybody else.

    I think in this case they will have their work cut out with Songs. As for Google and Amazon, it’s a different market.

    No, they’ll just convince their fanbase that they have done it better than everyone else.

    All we need is for Mike Smith to turn up.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I’d much rather the computer waited for me to initiate the interaction.

    Well I’d rather the opposite, so I’d like it to be a configurable option. It’s not even possible to create a skill that does it, currently.

    Apple seems to me more ‘hardware-y’ to me if that makes sense.

    I think they also harvest your data. Have you checked the T&Cs?

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