Apple unveils an Amazon Echo competitor

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The HomePod is expected to sell for $349 and be available in December in the U.S., U.K., and Australia.

Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes. Apple said the speaker sound from the HomePod is of high quality and is also able to create virtual surround sound. If you are concerned about security and privacy on this new device, Apple stated that Siri won't send any of your data to Apple servers or register information until you say the wake word. You can instruct Siri to play your favorite song, ask questions, etc.

Apple has announced its long-rumored answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

The device was previewed on stage Monday at WWDC, Apple's annual developer conference in San Jose. The speaker system works in sync with Apple Music service and is thus capable of playing user-preferred music.

Siri might hear you loud and clear on the new HomePod smart speaker, but Apple won't.

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The pricing of Apple's device was shared at the conference in comparison to both smart home speakers as well as premium audio speakers. Software updates are also expected for Apple's smartwatch and TV box for streaming online video. Shipments of intelligent home speakers surged almost 600% year-over-year to 4.2 million units in the fourth quarter, with Amazon taking about 88% share and Google 10%, according to consultant Strategy Analytics. GOOGL, +0.78% GOOG, +0.83%, with its Google Home product, and Amazon Inc.'s AMZN, +0.46% Amazon Echo.

Cook used the Apple keynote to show off new iPad and Mac computer models, as well as provide glimpses at coming versions of the software powering the technology titan's devices.

The extensive range of updates are all due for release later this year.

The new iPad Pro also comes with a better camera-the same one found in the iPhone 7-along with more storage, a better display and faster refreshing of moving images.

Samsung doubled the number of wearable devices shipped compared with the previous year, but it's still at fourth overall, at less than 5 percent, just ahead of Garmin. That's probably how they will justify the higher price tag. He introduced ARKit, a set of software tools that will allow developers to make high-quality AR apps for iPhones and iPads. (Many reviewers have suggested that the current incarnation of Apple's assistant already trails competitors in key respects.) "This is the start of the AI wars", he said.

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