Here’s How to Diagnose Apple’s New HomePod


| Particle Debris

Page 2 – News Debris For The Week of January 22nd.
HomePod Mania

Apple HomePod

For a balanced and thorough high-level assessment of the HomePod, I recommend:

Notable:

Since Apple Music is the only natively supported music service, it’s pretty much your only option for streaming music, unless you use the HomePod as an AirPlay-connected speaker for your phone. At least every new HomePod comes with a three-month free subscription to Apple Music.

This next article has a structured set of bullet points that explain what HomePod is all about. It explains the pros, cons, and some of the customer psychology that may prevail.

Notable:

Beyond deep bass, a set of seven tweeters sits in a ring — facing outward — in the base of the HomePod, providing what Apple calls ‘well-balanced smooth timbre.’ That’s important, as tweeters output the high end of songs (the treble) while woofers output the low end of songs (the bass) — HomePod has speakers handling the entire spectrum of sound.

This last article is sure to appeal to some who are skeptical.

Notable:

[Apple] also advertised the HomePod’s support for AirPlay 2, which lets you play the same music, or different songs, in different rooms [and stereo sound] …. Unfortunately, neither of these features will be available at launch. If these features are important to you, it might be worth waiting until these features finally become available to make your HomePod purchase.

And, no, Business Insider isn’t being inconsistent. The publication is merely doing what I described on page 1: covering the bases for the broad spectrum of its readers and, just maybe, honoring the perspectives of different writers.

More Debris

There are several types of Apple criticism. One common one is just a rant, often derived from sheer inexperience in the industry. However, there are often undiscovered truths about Apple. They fester even as no one wants to stick a neck out. When they’re well analyzed in print, however, our reaction is often: “Oh, yes indeed. Why didn’t we see that before?”

Dan Moren is good at writing that latter kind of article, and so I’ll point to:

Another, um, difficult subject has been the success—or lack thereof—for the iPhone X. Seeking Alpha has done a stellar job of sizing up the iPhone X and iPhone 8 sales picture. The nuance is that even if the iPhone X didn’t obliterate iPhone 8 sales, it made a major contribution with its technical advances. And that means the total iPhones sold in the holiday quarter is going to be, I predict, logged as astronomical. See:

What Apple learned from the OLED, expensive iPhone X and LCD-based iPhone 8s will factor heavily into Apple’s next iPhone release this year. “Apple developing 4 next-gen iPhones, only one of which is OLED, says Digitimes Research.

Just Mobile TENC for iPhone X.

The iPhone X is no failure. Rather, the launch of a new iPhone era.

My prediction is that the iPhone 7 was the end of an era and that we’re going to now see explosive, expansive, aggressive iPhone designs that will just about become dizzying. And prices will reflect that process. Buckle up.

And if you thought the Apple Watch was just a sidebar attraction, Neil Cybart makes a compelling case at Above Avalon for its significanceAlong those lines, as author Cybart has explained before, the nuance is that the Apple Watch, as it evolves, is Apple’s answer to Amazon Echo, not the HomePod.

Given how Apple Watch is playing such a crucial role in Apple’s product vision, one assumes the product is gaining importance and priority within Apple. A closer look at Apple’s product strategy confirms Apple Watch’s growing influence within the company.

All this has been a lot to digest. Hopefully, what I’ve pointed to here regarding the HomePod, the iPhone’s future and the Apple Watch will provide some added perspective on what’s going on with Apple these days.


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

4 Comments Add a comment

  1. JoelS

    If it is just a music speaker, why bother? If it is more than that, it better be good because they are going up against serious players. I suspect this will be one of those failed Apple products, but only time will tell.

  2. skipaq

    It is not just a music player. It is an Apple Music player that is marketed with great sound and Siri capabilities. It is designed to enhance the Apple ecosystem. Things that work within that system will work well with HomePods. It is not designed to sell Amazon products or enhance Google searches. This is just one more skirmish in the ongoing platform war.

  3. geoduck

    Apple has proven me wrong before, but I really think the HomePod might just fail.
    It costs much more than other “smart speakers”. Most people don’t really understand the point of the device and so will first look at price.
    Its voice AI is not as smart as the others. That’s been the key selling point for the others for months. Ask Google what the next step in the recipe is. Ask Alexa how to spell some obscure word. Even if Siri can do some of this, Siri is best known for NOT getting the answer. Fair or not Siri has gotten to be known as this generations Newton handwriting recognition. Many people think of it as a punchline, not a tool.
    It’s very late to the party. By missing Christmas they let Amazon and Google define the category. I just don’t see Siri as being able to redefine the category the way the iPod or iPhone did. It’s just not that different.
    It’s one selling point is that the sound is far better than the others. Granted but I don’t think most people want to pay hundreds of dollars for a speaker. I look at most houses I visit. Usually if the whole stereo costs over $500 it’s unusual. A $400 speaker is just not happening. Now admittedly I am older and most of the people I meet are of a similar age, but we’re the demographic with money. This however leads into the last weakness, for me at least.
    It only works with Apple Music. Now as good as AM may be, there’s a lot of us that just aren’t interested. AppleMusic is fine for HipHop, Rap, and such, but I don’t listen to that. My friends don’t listen to that. It’s classical or oldies. And they can get that for free over the air. Will I pay for music streaming? Oh sure. I donated $60 to allclassical.org this year and I plan to bump that up to $120 next year. But the idea of subscribing to AppleMusic has never left the gate. It’s just not for me.

    Cool trippy ads don’t make a compelling case for a limited device that costs many times what the competition does.

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