Apple's New HomePod Mini Smart Speaker Stirs Up Competition
Apple AAPL introduced HomePod mini, an addition to its HomePod range of smart speakers, on Oct 13. With a height of 3.3 inches, the device offers impressive sound, the virtual assistance of Siri and smart home capabilities.
Moreover, HomePod mini will be available at an affordable price of just $99, which is expected to improve this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s competitive position in the smart speaker space. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Notably, the smart speaker market has been dominated by the Echo devices from Amazon AMZN and Alphabet’s GOOGL Google Home. Per Strategy Analytics Data, in second-quarter 2020, Amazon continued to lead with a share of 21.6%, followed by Google and Baidu’s BIDU 17.1% and 16.7%, respectively.
Will HomePod Mini’s Sound Quality Be a Game Changer?
Markedly, Amazon’s Echo dot device, which costs $50, is one of the cheapest smart speakers in the market, currently. With the launch of Google Nest Mini for $50, Google has finally caught Amazon in terms of pricing.
Although $99 for Apple’s Homepod mini is still higher than Amazon and Google’s cheapest devices, we believe Homepod mini’s excellent sound quality will be a game changer. Notably, HomePod mini is designed to work with Apple Music, podcasts, radio stations from iHeartRadio, radio.com and TuneIn.
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In the coming months, popular music services, including Pandora and Amazon Music, will also join the list of services available with Homepod mini.
Further, Apple used recycled elements and a power-efficient technology in the manufacturing and designing of HomePod mini, in accordance with its goal to have zero net climate impact.
Smart Home & Privacy Feature to Aid HomePod Mini’s Growth
Meanwhile, the increasing number of smart homes is driving demand for smart speakers, which bodes well for the iPhone-maker’s Homepod mini. Per MarketAndMarkets data, the global smart speaker market is expected to witness a CAGR of 17.1% between 2020 and 2025, hitting $7.1 billion at the end of the timeframe.
However, data privacy and security have been plaguing the adoption of smart speakers. Smart home devices along with smart speakers have access to sensitive data like the personal information of the users, which has been a concern.
Apple’s Homepod mini offers features that make controlling smart home accessories easier without compromising on privacy and security. For instance, the device offers an intercom messaging feature, which is supported by iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods and CarPlay. The feature helps everybody in the household to remain connected.
With respect to privacy and security, Apple stated that “With HomePod mini, only after “Hey Siri” is recognized locally on the device, or the user activates Siri by touch, will any information be sent to Apple servers.” The company also doesn’t sell personal information advertisers or other organizations.
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.