×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Apple’s HomePod Looks a Lot Like This Startup’s Speaker

Comparisons to Amazon’s Echo abounded when Apple introduced its HomePod smart speaker on Monday. But some Twitter users were also reminded of another, lesser-known product: Whyd, a smart speaker made by a Paris-based startup that debuted last summer on Kickstarter.

“Whyd the homepod look so familiar,” punned one user, with another agreeing that “the new HomePod looks an awful like a Whyd speaker.”

One user even suggested that Apple “ripped off” Whyd, while others apparently thought the Whyd team may have joined Apple. “After the Apple announcement, our team has been overwhelmed by customers and people pointing out similarities and asking us if Whyd had been bought by Apple and was behind the HomePod speaker,” Whyd co-founder Gilles Poupardin told Variety. “The answer is no.”

Poupardin stopped short of accusing Apple of plagiarism, but agreed that there are some obvious similarities between the two products. Both feature microphones for voice input and added smarts, but set themselves apart from products like the Amazon Echo with a focus on sound quality. Both are cylinders with rounded ends, covered with a cloth mesh. Both use a circular touch surface on top that allows for pausing songs with a tap.

The touch interface surface of both speakers. Above: Apple. Below: Whyd. Photos courtesy of Apple,
Whyd.

There are also some clear differences. Apple’s HomePod is less than seven inches tall, whereas Whyd’s speaker measures 11.5 inches. The startup’s speaker is also slightly more elliptical than Apple’s model, and its LEDs are hidden behind the cloth mesh, whereas Apple has integrated them in the touch surface of the its speaker.

Still, if one would place all existing smart and Wi-Fi-connected speakers in a row, including models from Amazon, Google, Sonos, Polk, and Bang & Olufsen, Apple’s and Whyd’s devices would clearly stand out as having the most closely aligned design.

So what is Whyd going to do about it? Nothing, said Poupardin. “We welcome Apple and the HomePod.” And instead of trying to fight a goliath, Whyd wants to spend its energy on its own products. “We’re building an amazing community of music lovers and we’re staying focused on building beautiful, high-quality, and simple products for them,” he said.

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment.

More Digital

  • Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality

    Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality Nightmare

    At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, Google announced that it has taken up the long and ever-lengthening dream of the video game streaming service. Meant to replace the hefty, pricey, altogether confounding experience of buying and using various gaming hardware, Google Stadia will run video games on Google’s own hardware in a server [...]

  • crunchyroll logo

    Crunchyroll Raises Subscription Price to $7.99

    AT&T-owned anime subscription video service Crunchyroll is raising its monthly subscription price from $6.95 to $7.99 a month, it announced in an email to members Friday. It’s the service’s first price increase ever, according to a spokesperson. The new pricing will go into effect on May 1 for new subscribers, while existing members will see [...]

  • StyleHaul

    StyleHaul Shuts Down U.S. Operations, Lays Off About 65 Employees

    The axe is falling on StyleHaul: The fashion, beauty and lifestyle digital media and marketing company owned by RTL Group is shuttering U.S. operations, resulting the layoff of around 65 employees. StyleHaul offices in L.A., with about 55 employees, and in New York City, with around 10 staffers, are closing. RTL said StyleHaul’s U.K. operations, [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. “I’m proud to share that Hypebot and MusicThinkTank have been acquired by Bandsintown,” wrote Bruce Houghton, the founder of the [...]

  • Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’

    Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’ Is Future of VR

    As virtual reality becomes more and more available, many developers are looking for new frontiers to expand the experiences offered by the tech. For Netherlands-based Vertigo Games, that next frontier is what they call “location-based virtual reality.” It’s essentially high-quality VR experiences where players aren’t tethered to a PC or even to the confines of [...]

  • GDC 2019: Google's Play For Gaming

    GDC 2019: Google's Play for Gaming Ubiquity, Rise of Ray Tracing, Store Wars

    The Game Developers Conference finished up Friday evening, wrapping one of the most exciting GDCs in recent memory with Google’s splashy entrance into AAA video gaming, the emergence of real-time ray tracing as a compelling technology for film, TV, and games, and the growing war between two global estore powerhouses: Valve’s Steam and the Epic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content