Apple Takes On Amazon

The firm is jumping into a whole new product category - the home hub.

"Just like we did with portable music, we want to reinvent home music", Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the Worldwide Developers Conference, where HomePod was unveiled, becoming Apple's first new device since the release of the Apple Watch in 2015.

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Apple will compete with Google Home and Amazon Echo later this year with a new speaker called HomePod.

The company is casting Siri as a music connoisseur that will learn and cater to the tastes of the HomePod's owners, as well as answer questions about the songs as they are played. What that means is HomePod will optimize audio based on where you put it.

HomePod will be listed for $349.

The HomePod will use its internal microphones to pick up voice commands and uses the same processor chip as the iPhone to pump out "spatially aware" sound, Apple said. The tech giant describes it as "a powerful speaker that sounds incredible".

Some analysts said they don't expect the HomePod to catch on as quickly as its cheaper competitors. Schiller said devices like the Amazon Echo have poor sound quality, and wifi speakers like Sonos don't have interactive voice assistants. By 2020, 3.3 percent of global households are expected to have one.

The free software update for mobile devices, iOS 11, is expected in September, when Apple typically releases new iPhones.

Although a new product announcement from Apple isn't the major pop-cultural event that it used to be, the pitiless taskmaster that is capitalism demands that the company continue pressing ever forward with sleek new gadgets exciting enough to convince consumers that last year's gadget just isn't good enough anymore.

Apple's senior vice-president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, demonstrated the company's AR capabilities by placing a virtual coffee cup, lamp and vase onto a real table.

The iPad Pro will now be available in three different sizes, with a new 10.5-inch model introduced today. The company knows it's late to this market.

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After a long time, Apple has finally updated its PC, the all new 5K iMac Pro for 2017. The high-end desktop will cost $5,000 and will ship in December. The new Echo Show goes on sale on June 28 for $230.

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