When Apple announced the HomePod at WWDC earlier this year, it felt like a “me too” moment in response to Amazon launching the Echo series of speakers, and Google launching the Google Home. However a recent report from Bloomberg has suggested that the HomePod is actually something that Apple has been working on since 2012.
According to the report, the HomePod started out as a side project at Apple in an attempt to create a set of speakers that sounded better than what was available on the market. However perhaps the project wasn’t really given a priority as apparently it was treated more as an accessory, like the AirPods. The report has suggested that because of this approach, Apple might have missed the boat and allowed Amazon and Google to get in front of them.
Bloomberg’s report also claims that the project had been shelved and revived several times, adding to its delay, and had gone through multiple iterations as Apple tried to figure out how to fit it into their ecosystem of products and services. The report also highlights some shortcomings of the device, such as how certain requests sent to it will be parsed on the iPhone instead of the cloud, meaning that developers cannot create apps specifically for it.
All of this suggests that the HomePod will be more of a speaker with support for Siri, rather than a hub like what Amazon and Google have done with the Echo and Home respectively. Whether or not this will work out for Apple remains to be seen, but unfortunately with the recent delay, we’ll have to wait until 2018 to find out.