×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Homepod Was a No-Show at Apple’s WWDC Conference

Apple executives used the company’s WWDC keynote Monday to announce a slew of software updates for the iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Watch and Mac — but one product was curiously missing: The Homepod, Apple’s smart speaker, wasn’t mentioned once during the two-hour presentation.

The absence of the Homepod was especially notable because  the conference marked the one-year anniversary of the device’s unveiling. Apple used last year’s WWDC to introduce the smart speaker to the world, with Apple CEO Tim Cook promising at the time that it would “reinvent home audio.”

Apple had originally planned to launch the Homepod before the end of last year, in time for the holiday season. The company missed that deadline, and instead started to sell the device in February.

It rolled out a significant software update to the Homepod last month, bringing stereo-pairing and multi-room audio to the device. Apple also announced recently that it would start selling the Homepod in Canada, France and Germany starting June 18.

The initial reaction to the Homepod has been mixed, with some hailing its sound quality, while others have criticized missing support for third-party apps a limited implementation of the company’s Siri assistant.

Apple did announce some major updates to Siri for mobile devices Monday, announcing that the company’s smart assistant would soon support something called Shortcuts — custom routines that can be assigned to any command phrase. However, there was no word on when these, or any other Siri updates, will arrive on the Homepod.

Updating Siri on the device could possibly help Apple find more customers for the device. Homepod sales have been disappointing, according to multiple reports. Bloomberg reported in April that some Apple stores were seeing excess inventory. Strategy Analytics estimated last month that Apple only sold 600,000 Homepods in Q1, with Amazon selling 4 million Echo devices during the same quarter.

Part of Amazon’s dominance can be explained with much cheaper price points: Amazon’s Echo Dot speaker sells for just $50, and the company’s full-sized Echo retails for $100. Apple’s speaker on the other hand costs $349. This has resulted in some rumors that the company may introduce a cheaper version of the Homepod this year.

More Digital

  • Livenation AR Live stream

    Live Nation to Debut AR Live Stream at Music Midtown Festival

    Come September, Live Nation is set to begin streaming live events in augmented reality. The entertainment giant will debut live AR broadcasting at the Music Midtown festival in Atlanta, Georgia, where attendees will also be able to unlock filters and other AR effects. Live Nation announced the new initiative at the Cannes Lions festival Thursday, [...]

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    Amazon’s ‘The Report’ Gets U.K. Theatrical Release Ahead of Streaming Launch

    Amazon Studio’s “The Report” will be released theatrically in the U.K. three weeks before it lands on the Prime Video streaming service. The Scott Z. Burns film tells the story of Daniel J. Jones, a U.S. Senate staffer who worked to reveal that truth about an “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA in the [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Netflix Engineers Developed a Rumble Pack Feature During Latest Hack Day

    A duo of Netflix employees had a unique idea for making the service’s shows even more stirring: They added a rumble pack option to the Netflix app as part of the company’s latest hack day. When watching shows like “Voltron,” the feature makes phones vibrate in sync with the action on the screen, similar to [...]

  • Apple - iPhone-XR-launch-Covent-Garden-London

    Apple Warns New Tariffs Would Impact iPhones, iPads, Macs

    Apple has told U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer in a filing that all of its major products would be impacted if the U.S. enacted a fourth round of tariffs in its escalating trade war with China. CNBC was first to report about the filing Thursday. “The proposed tariff list covers all of Apple’s major products, [...]

  • Amazon Music

    Amazon Music Launches on Comcast's Xfinity X1 Set-Tops

    Amazon Music is rolling out on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 — the first pay-TV distribution deal for the ecommerce company’s music service. The cable operator’s addition of Amazon Music comes six months after it added Amazon Prime Video to the X1 lineup. Prime Video quickly became one of the most-used apps on the service, which prompted [...]

  • The Frontier

    Conecta Fiction: Project Pitches Prizes Passed Out in Pamplona

    On Wednesday evening the Spanish city of Pamplona was overrun, not by bulls, but by hopeful TV creators who had spent the early week pitching their projects at Conecta Fiction, and who anxiously waited to find out the titles which would take home silverware. Meanwhile, “Monzón,” a Disney-Pampa-Incaa production portraying the tragic violence of Argentine [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content