Apple Trying To Deliver Networked Speakers With Video Touchpad
Apple who have gone nowhere in the home entertainment or smart speaker market up against the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus or Amazon and Google in the hardware market, is now having another crack at carving out share with a new device that combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker, according to sources.
The device which is still in development will also include a camera for video conferencing.
The US Company is desperate to gain a larger share of the video and gaming market, plus the smart networked speaker market which is dominated by voice control from archrivals Google and Amazon as opposed Apple’s Siri digital assistant.
In March, Apple discontinued its high-end HomePod, while the Apple TV box hasn’t been updated for more than three years.
It’s also been revealed by Bloomberg that Apple is keen to get into the premium networked audio market with a high-end speaker that comes with a touch screen.
The speaker would combine an iPad with a HomePod speaker and also include a camera for video chat.
Apple has explored connecting the iPad to the speaker with a robotic arm that can move to follow a user around a room, similar to Amazon’s latest Echo Show gadget.
The problem for Apple is that demand for their hardware is slowing as people hold onto their iPhones and MacBooks longer.
Currently they only have 2% of the TV streaming device market according to Strategy Analytics, while the HomePod has had less than 10% of the smart speaker market.
In an effort to deliver new products for the home Apple has combined its HomePod and Apple TV engineering groups in 2020 and unified the underlying software that runs on both devices.
What’s not known is whether a combined speaker and TV box will actually appeal to consumers as most consumers watch content on a TV and listen to music on a multitude of devices.
According to Bloomberg, Amazon currently lead the Smart Displays category, the term for smart speakers with screens.
Amazon first popularized smart speakers with screens in 2017 with the launch of the original Echo Show.
Google offers 7- and 10-inch versions of its Nest Hub, which pairs the Google Assistant with a speaker and screen.
Amazon is also working on a new speaker with a screen for a user’s wall that can serve as a smart home hub. In March, Bloomberg News reported that Apple was exploring new smart speakers with displays and cameras.