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Where Apple’s HomePod Stands as It Gets Ready to Launch

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Jan. 25 2018, Published 5:24 p.m. ET

Apple HomePod will hit the stores soon

Apple (AAPL) is getting ready to launch its smart speaker, HomePod, on February 9. The $350 smart speaker, which was initially expected to be launched last year, has been approved by the FCC.

The US smart speaker segment is dominated by Amazon’s (AMZN) Echo, while Alphabet’s (GOOG) Google Home ranks a distant second. Apple’s HomePod is expected to face stiff competition from these smart speakers. Amazon said it had shipped “tens of millions” of smart speakers during the 2017 holiday season. Amazon’s Echo is powered by its digital assistant, Alexa.

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Where Apple’s HomePod stands in a competitive market

Apple’s HomePod is expected to be another home for Apple’s digital assistant, Siri. However, it is not as developed as Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant. How Siri responds to questions and controls remains to be seen.

Apple is promoting HomePod as a high-quality speaker with Siri, and analysts expect HomePod to have the best sound quality among its competitors.

Smart speakers have been extremely popular in the US, especially during the last two holiday seasons. Amazon plans to garner ad revenues through its digital speaker as it seeks to leverage the popularity of Echo.

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