Siri, a digital assistant that has been on Apple's iPhone since 2011, will be voice activated to respond to requests for information and other help around the house. Yet here we are. The Google Home lets you set either of those music services as your default, while the Echo lets you choose from Amazon Music and Spotify. The HomePod will take Siri from iPhones into more homes and turn it into more of a hub for Apple's other products and services.
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With an image of Amazon Echo behind him, he exclaimed, "Others have worked to make smart speakers that you can talk to, but they don't sound so great when you listen to music". To make this possible, however, all connected HomeKit devices will need to have a special MFi (Made for iDevices) chip installed for machine-to-machine security. Today at WWDC, it was announced that Amazon Prime Video will soon be available for Apple TV.
Amazon declined to comment on whether it will again sell Apple TVs. The company as a whole has posted plump 38-40% gross profit margins fairly consistent for years. The souped-up new version "will support up to 18 core processors and include a graphic chipset called Radeon Vega", making it Apple's most powerful computer to date, according to the NYT. Investors keep close tabs on Apple's margins, and Apple optimises its business to meet its gross-margin range.
The HomePod speaker was the main product, though Kiwis will have to wait until next year to buy it.
Elsewhere, Apple also previewed updates to its upcoming operating system update for iPhones and iPads iOS11, which is scheduled for the final quarter of 2017. That's because the profit margin targets that have been sacrosanct increasingly look like handcuffs. But this year, there's a possibility Apple will launch a few new or updated products, too.
If Apple wants to be more than a hardware company, it needs to break out of its profit game sometimes.
Mac models were also boosted to work with virtual reality gear, a move by Apple into technology that Facebook has embraced with its Oculus unit.
The HomePod speaker is created to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs and comes with an array of six microphones, so users can interact with it from across the room, even while loud music is playing.
There is already evidence that Apple's gross-margin affection is holding the company back.
Not only will Apple offer new male and female voices, but Apple says using the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, their voices will be more natural and expressive, adjust intonation, pitch, emphasis and tempo while speaking and can translate English words and phrases into Chinese, French, German, Italian or Spanish. Apple, by contrast, has been stubborn about letting outsiders tap the power of Siri, and the company has fallen behind as a result.