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Gene Munster: Apple's HomePod Set To Be Long-Term Winner Among Home Assistants

Gene Munster: Apple's HomePod Set To Be Long-Term Winner Among Home Assistants

If you’re having trouble deciding between, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)’s Echo and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL)’s Home, let Gene Munster make his case for a different option altogether.

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“The long-term winner will be the product that provides its user with a heightened experience and improved efficiency,” the Loup Ventures managing editor wrote in a Friday note.

And that winner, he believes, will be Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)’s new HomePod.

Related Link: Home Prime: How Alexa Catapults Amazon Into The Pinnacle Of The Smart Home Market

Who’s In The Ring?

Amazon’s $179, 3-year-old Echo runs on Alexa and has “solidified itself as the de facto voice platform of today.” By Loup’s calculations, Alexa-affiliated devices control more than 70 percent of the market.

The company’s advantage lies in Alexa Skills, which connects a wide range of third-party applications, but Munster sees limitations in its lack of integrated phones.

Meanwhile, the year-old Google Home has fewer third-party partnerships but “best-in-class” natural language processing. The device costs $129 and controls a mere 24 percent of the market.

What Apple Brings

What these established rivals don’t have is Apple HomePod’s Siri, which connects the device to all others in the Apple family for a “frictionless experience” and excels in processing complex, multi-step orders.

“Users will also be able to say, ‘send directions to Steve’s house to my phone,’ or, ‘turn on the TV and play the newest episode of Westworld,’” Munster wrote. “These functionalities are not unique to Siri, but Apple’s seamlessly integrated ecosystem of devices puts them in a position to employ voice-first computing in ways their competitors can’t match.”

And the device’s A8 chip isn’t exactly a turnoff, either.

“The A8 chip is much more powerful than the chips competing home assistants run on, which poses the question: what else is Apple planning with the HomePod?” Munster wrote.

Apple’s HomePod will begin shipping in December.


Image Credit: By Nobuyuki Hayashi [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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