Last week, it was reported that Apple would be delaying its HomePod speaker until 2018. While it seems like the speaker is a response to Amazon and Google's popular offerings, it turns out that the firm has actually been working on an early version of the unit since around 2012.
When the Amazon Echo was announced in 2014, it apparently caught the Apple team by surprise, as it had been working on something similar years prior. Like any competitor would, the firm purchased the Echo to dismantle and study it but deemed it was inferior when it came to sound quality and resumed working on its own project. After a couple of years, Amazon's Alexa-powered products would gain quite a bit of momentum, becoming the leader in sales of smart speakers.
Apple's would go through various iterations behind closed doors, only to be canceled and resurrected many times. At one point, a source states that the HomePod would be three feet tall and was packed with over a dozen speakers. The firm was still struggling to understand how to position the product in its lineup. This is apparent to this day, as it isn't listed on its website as its own product category, but instead, deemed a mere accessory under the Music category.
While it will eventually debut next year, some believe that the HomePod is just too little, too late. Siri isn't the smartest of the bunch when it comes to digital assistants, and the competition has options priced that are far lower than Apple's. With all of this in mind, this is still an Apple product, so it will most likely sell in the millions, but will it ever become a truly smart offering?