How Apple may kill the smartphone in 10 years: Gene Munster

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08 June, 2017

CNET senior editor Ashley Esqueda joined CBSN from Burbank to discuss highlights from the first day of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. After all, the Amazon Echo is regarded in an entirely different gadget category, so it seems Apple has played it smart and demonstrated the strength of its new HomePod which could take down the Amazon Echo.

Apple says it's giving more emphasis to sound quality, not just smarts.

Users can also interact with Siri, via the smart speaker, about plenty of everyday things like asking about news, traffic, weather, sports, translations, and other general knowledge.

"What we tried to do is build something that is a breakthrough speaker first", Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg.

"It's the biggest brain inside a speaker", Apple marketing head Phil Schiller proclaimed. The device uses spatial awareness in order to sense its location in any room and adjust the audio automatically.

HomePod's voice control features are delivered using six microphones which also in support of Apple Music users can respond with "Hey Siri, I like this song", and other responses.

Apple is taking on Google Home and the Amazon Echo with its Siri sporting HomePod smart speaker, revealed at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017. Apple say it will launch at a price of $349 (roughly £270) in the U.S., with official pricing for Australia and the United Kingdom will be released later this year.

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Besides, the speaker is equipped with six microphones, through which you can trigger the Apple's own VA, calling "Hey Siri ". Siri was introduced as a feature in the iPhone 4S in 2011, three years before Amazon came out with Alexa and the Echo.

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Both the Echo and Home are not available in Singapore, and the HomePod will not be coming to the Republic any time soon as well.

The "HomePod" speaker unveiled Monday is similar to devices from rivals, some of which have been on the market for years. The HomePod can be operated via Siri and is priced at $349. Amazon sells the main version of the Echo for $180; Google's Home speaker goes for $130.

The HomePod's main weapon is sound quality. Apple has reduced the bezel around the display to fit more screen in a device that feels just like a regular iPad. Although the format is not exclusive to Apple, it's not yet clear how well the photos will work with non-Apple software and devices, which mostly use JPEG. "Munster, considered one of the top Apple watchers, added, "[It] is going to change how we interact and it is eventually going to replace the smartphone.

Apple is facing stiff competition in maintaining market share and is trying to find a means to continue to grow its consumer revenue.

Amazon's new app could be more interesting if there are future plans to integrate the e-commerce giant's voice assistant.

The annual event in San Jose, California, also featured the unveiling of next-generation iMac Pro and MacBook computers, including the introduction of the iMac Pro with Intel Xeon processors and AMD Radeon Pro Vega GPUs.

iOS 11 features a swag of iPad only features, including a new Files app, a new dock, and new drag-and-drop features to enable better multitasking and sharing between apps.


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