1. xanadome's Avatar
    @xanadome See... I have an issue with that poster and their rant, for a number of reasons...

    1) Every brand targets their core/faithful customer with products and services. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. HomePod is meant to appeal, first and foremost, to that group.

    2) Market forces take care of pricing miscalculations on their own. If it was truly overpriced, then the speaker would sit and collect dust until the price reduced. That's not been the case from what I've read. So it appears to be priced to market.

    3) I don't necessarily disagree with the "captive market" sentiment, but it's a bit overdone I think. A company can't make you stay with their brand or force you to buy their products. Any consumer can "leave" whenever they get ready. (and no, the iMessage/Facetime excuse is just that, an excuse)

    4) Every company works for it's own best interest, as it should. They aren't your brother-in-law and they don't own you anything outside of what they've promised to deliver in exchange for payment.

    5) It's not a gateway product, since you have to already have an Apple device for it to work. So why are people acting so surprised that it's being marketed to existing Apple customers!?!? That's so strange to me...

    6) If someone doesn't like the HomePod, don't buy it. Buy something else.. Sonos or whatever you like ..

    Just so I'm clear.. I am by no means an Apple fan. I own one product and even that wasn't until recently. But I'm balanced enough in my opinion to recognize when this company doesn't get it's proper framing. Apple isn't trying to fool anyone into buying a speaker and the "walled garden" isn't new by any means. So I don't understand why, for the life of me why, are people's expectations for the HomePod outside anything besides what Apple is positioning it to be. A CHOICE for the core Apple consumer. A product for the core Apple consumer to consider when they are looking at competing products like SONOS.
    Fair enough. I knew the post was from somewhat different angle (but I tend to agree with the contention), and I was fully expecting flaks from all directions, lol. I would not comment on each point you raided, as it will take another long post, which I want to avoid. But I am a long time Apple aficionado(and still am), and lamenting the loss of innocence (so to speak) or mojo of Apple in the past. Although Steve Jobs was somewhat divinized, I cannot help but comparing the SJ era vs. Cook's modus operandi (seemingly).

    I list a few quotes of SJ here, which symbolize his enthusiasm to please his customers.

    A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them. - Steve Jobs

    We built [the Mac] for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren't going to go out and do market research. - Steve Jobs

    Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. - Steve Jobs

    Apple's HomePod falls in none of these thinking. It's a copy of competition, targeted at the Apple enthusiasts, the most loyal and faithful customers of Apple's.
    I believe one has to consider contexts in which things have been happening lately, such as persistent overpricing etc.
    I believe HomePod is already overpriced at $349. AppleCare is $39, but the out of warranty charge is staggering $279. If you consider all these, I see something alarming. YMMV.
    fairmarketvalue likes this.
    02-11-2018 12:23 PM
  2. xanadome's Avatar
    If you check other sites, like in this forum, there are 2 distinct schools of thoughts on this, and people are debating vigorously. I interpreted the original article not so much on the HomePod, but the larger issue (walled garden, ecosystem and all that) that people have been harboring in their mind and this article brought out.
    fairmarketvalue likes this.
    02-11-2018 12:32 PM
  3. Annie_8plus's Avatar
    Since I walked willingly and knowingly through the gate of the walled garden aka the Apple Ecosystem, and continue to be satisfied, I don’t see the issue that people have with the fact that the HomePod is for Apple devices. It’s just another chapter in an ongoing narrative of Apple haters and Apple lovers.
    djrakowski, TgeekB and Tartarus like this.
    02-11-2018 01:33 PM
  4. djrakowski's Avatar
    Since I walked willingly and knowingly through the gate of the walled garden aka the Apple Ecosystem, and continue to be satisfied, I don’t see the issue that people have with the fact that the HomePod is for Apple devices. It’s just another chapter in an ongoing narrative of Apple haters and Apple lovers.
    I agree... if you’re not fully invested in the Apple ecosystem, there are plenty of alternatives to HomePod.
    Annie_8plus likes this.
    02-11-2018 01:34 PM
  5. xanadome's Avatar
    I am not at all an Apple hater. I am an Apple enthusiast, more so than casual Apple users. And the HomePod is an excellent product. It's been reported that Apple, in the past year or so, have been hiring excellent audio engineers and the HomePod is the result of this.
    The longer you are in the Apple's ecosystem as I have (I have been an Apple monogamist over a quarter century, and was not at all criticizing the walled garden/ecosystem per se), the better do you you appreciate it.

    But that's not my contention. I am just raising the concern that our beloved Apple may have been changing their course, point of emphasis with sea changes of mentality and approach in recent years, and thought that the article hit some good points.
    Combine this with recent financial records in last quarter that indicated that more than 70%(!) of Apple's revenue relies on the iPhone, while the much hyped iPhone X super cycle never happened, etc etc, that worried me.
    When I was following the HomePod development, I expected of course the product would be excellent, even though Apple were just trying to beat early start competitions. But when I saw its pricing, and read the said article, a light flashed in my mind. That's all. Everybody has different opinions. As I said, YMMV. I just tried to take a look at this example (and other issues) from a different angle. The original article cast a light on lingering issue that some Apple fans might be holding in their minds. I do not particularly give a knee jerk reaction that it's an Apple hater's view. I just think it has a point, and when I combined all different things happening around Apple these days, I just thought I began to see some different approach in recent Apple. It's not a love or hate issue. I may very well wrong in this thought, but I love Apple products, and happened to miss the good old Apple, so to speak, when things were not just about the money and earning.
    fairmarketvalue likes this.
    02-11-2018 02:05 PM
  6. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    Brag about it why don’t ya.

    A bunch of snow and 10 degrees around these parts lol.
    (Laughing)....It wasn’t that long ago when I had to deal with stuff like that, but hey, I’m back in my home state and I plan on staying here....hurricanes and all....
    02-11-2018 02:22 PM
  7. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    You know, I read Vlad's article on The Verge as well and, being honest, felt he was kinda stating the obvious. I've never seen any indication from Apple that this speaker was being positioned for anything more than what he stated. So considering that, I didn't really understand his critique.

    I still contend that the HomePod is meant for the core Apple consumer and remain a bit puzzled as to how or why some sites seem to want this particular device to be something outside of that.
    Bingo!.....it’s as if Apple is not allowed to make anything specifically for its core consumers or specifically to be used with its own services.
    02-11-2018 02:29 PM
  8. TgeekB's Avatar
    More “walled garden” comments. When will people stop using such a flawed description.

    I mean, what other company would want customers to only buy their products and keep coming back for more and more........ how about EVERY ONE! It’s called marketing and Apple has perfected it. Without high customer satisfaction it would fail. They give people what they want, even if they didn’t think they wanted it (Jobs).

    Of course the HomePod is a copy of other speakers, but it’s made for Apple enthusiasts. No one has to buy it or stay in the supposed “walled garden”. It’s not a concentration camp, it’s a personal decision. I bought the original iPhone and left for Blackberry after the 3G. No one stopped me. Came back for the 6 and left for Android and the Windows phone. Came back for the 7 and here I am. No wall to climb over, no security guards, no FBI.

    Apple products are priced at the high end. That’s nothing new. The HomePod is for Apple users. Buy one or don’t. Simple.
    Just_Me_D, tadpoles and djrakowski like this.
    02-11-2018 03:18 PM
  9. Ledsteplin's Avatar
    The word "hostile" is used quite a bit in reference to similar situations. I don't see it as unusual or uncalled for. But it usually is a bit strong for the intended description.
    xanadome and fairmarketvalue like this.
    02-11-2018 04:09 PM
  10. xanadome's Avatar
    The word "hostile" is used quite a bit in reference to similar situations. I don't see it as unusual or uncalled for. But it usually is a bit strong for the intended description.
    lol, a subtle and diplomatic post!
    I actually think the word "hostile" is uncalled for in this particular article:-) It repels people and creates yet another hostility, i.e., it stirs up the pot unnecessarily, if the author was trying to get the message come across to his/her intended audience, particularly in "fan sites" of anything, lol.
    Results? Losing the intended contention. I have to be careful too:-)
    02-11-2018 04:33 PM
  11. jgibson2400's Avatar
    The word "hostile" is used quite a bit in reference to similar situations. I don't see it as unusual or uncalled for. But it usually is a bit strong for the intended description.
    I too found hostile a bit strong but do feel like customer unfriendly is fair for a product that Apple itself positions as a better sounding alternative to the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Sonos.

    By not positioning it as an Apple Music speaker or iOS accessory it was/is perfectly fair to compare not just the audio quality but also the functionality of the competition Apple itself identified and it does fall short there arguable via decisions that aren't necessarily customer friendly. One small example is bluetooth - if not for lock-in purposes why is the bluetooth audio profile disabled?
    fairmarketvalue likes this.
    02-11-2018 04:41 PM
  12. TgeekB's Avatar
    Maybe I’m missing something or way off base, but here is the HomePod webpage.

    https://www.apple.com/homepod/

    Where does it position itself anywhere other than an Apple speaker with Siri integration?
    02-11-2018 05:03 PM
  13. jgibson2400's Avatar
    Maybe I’m missing something or way off base, but here is the HomePod webpage.

    https://www.apple.com/homepod/

    Where does it position itself anywhere other than an Apple speaker with Siri integration?
    Watch how it’s positioned in the keynote:
    02-11-2018 05:30 PM
  14. TgeekB's Avatar
    Watch how it’s positioned in the keynote:
    Where? I’m not going to watch the entire keynote.
    Besides, those are just overblown fanboy parties.
    Most people are going to search online and find themselves at the website I posted. That will help them decide if it fits their needs.

    At least that’s my feelings on it.
    Tartarus likes this.
    02-11-2018 05:34 PM
  15. Tartarus's Avatar
    Watch how it’s positioned in the keynote:
    No way, Jose, someone is gonna watch the entire keynote for a 2 minute segment about the HomePod. Maybe next time tell us at what point in the video the HomePod was announced or post a transcriptional said segment.

    To be ontopic, non-Apple users may find and think and say what they want, if I want to buy a so-called overpriced and hostile thingie, I will. No amount of criticism is gonna change that.

    Same was said about the TV and Watch too, yet they have proven to be successful time after time.
    02-11-2018 05:38 PM
  16. TylerLV76's Avatar
    Where? I’m not going to watch the entire keynote.
    No way, Jose, someone is gonna watch the entire keynote for a 2 minute segment about the HomePod. Maybe next time tell us at what point in the video the HomePod was announced or post a transcriptional said segment.
    Devils advocate here:

    Starts at 2:02:00 and the direct comparison to Sonos and Alexa is at 2:03:20. They put images of both in their presentation.
    02-11-2018 05:56 PM
  17. TgeekB's Avatar
    Devils advocate here:

    Starts at 2:02:00 and the direct comparison to Sonos and Alexa is at 2:03:20. They put images of both in their presentation.
    But it’s a keynote. “This is the greatest device ever!” says every keynote speaker.

    I’m reading reviews on BestBuy and buyers are raving about the sound and how easily it hears your Siri commands even when you can hardly hear yourself speaking. If it can do that, and I certainly expect software updates in the near future, I may consider buying one. I’m not expecting anything more on day 1.
    02-11-2018 06:01 PM
  18. TylerLV76's Avatar
    But it’s a keynote. “This is the greatest device ever!” says every keynote speaker.

    I’m reading reviews on BestBuy and buyers are raving about the sound and how easily it hears your Siri commands even when you can hardly hear yourself speaking. If it can do that, and I certainly expect software updates in the near future, I may consider buying one. I’m not expecting anything more on day 1.
    Just letting you know where it was.

    As for the reviews, best buy shows 50% would recommend it with a 3.9 out of 5. So Id say its still too early to tell if its gonna be a hit or miss.

    I personally think it sounded excellent. Siri is obviously its weak point but if you buy it for siri you wasted your money.

    The only reason I wont buy one is because I switch between iOS and Android alot so it doesnt make sense for me. Plus I already have tons of money into my home theaters and sound systems. As good as this speaker is, it wouldnt make sense to make it try to compete with those. It wasnt meant to and its not fair to try and make it.
    nikkisharif likes this.
    02-11-2018 06:06 PM
  19. jgibson2400's Avatar
    No way, Jose, someone is gonna watch the entire keynote for a 2 minute segment about the HomePod. Maybe next time tell us at what point in the video the HomePod was announced or post a transcriptional said segment.

    To be ontopic, non-Apple users may find and think and say what they want, if I want to buy a so-called overpriced and hostile thingie, I will. No amount of criticism is gonna change that.

    Same was said about the TV and Watch too, yet they have proven to be successful time after time.
    Takes about 30 second to scroll through until you see the homepod displayed but regardless it's at around 2:03.

    I don't think anyone is saying you shouldn't buy one. I certainly am not - I'm disappointed with some of the shortcomings but that didn't stop me from buying one. But I'd be lying if I didn't say I wish it had a line in so I could plug an echo into it and have the best of both worlds - Alexa and the superior sound of the HomePod.

    Apple TV is ok, does the job but doesn't necessarily do anything substantially better than competing products for what I primarily use it for (Netflix / Hulu / HBO NOW).

    I love my Apple Watch and if the iteration of the HomePod is in anyway similar to what we've seen with the Apple Watch it will be successful. I'm a bit nervous though considering how slow (to non-existant) the advancements in SiriKit have been since it was released.

    None of that changes that the reviews are not being unfair like the premise of this topic implied.
    02-11-2018 06:09 PM
  20. TgeekB's Avatar
    Just letting you know where it was.

    As for the reviews, best buy shows 50% would recommend it with a 3.9 out of 5. So Id say its still too early to tell if its gonna be a hit or miss.

    I personally think it sounded excellent. Siri is obviously its weak point but if you buy it for siri you wasted your money.

    The only reason I wont buy one is because I switch between iOS and Android alot so it doesnt make sense for me. Plus I already have tons of money into my home theaters and sound systems. As good as this speaker is, it wouldnt make sense to make it try to compete with those. It wasnt meant to and its not fair to try and make it.
    I don’t have a home theatre any more so this could certainly work for me. I don’t need anything fancy but would like some decent sound. Since it’s integrated with products I already have and trust, it makes sense.

    Siri will be improving with Apples acquisition of Vocal IQ, but can wait for that.

    Holy cra*, I’m talking myself into buying one of these when I previously didn’t have any interest. 🤣
    Annie_8plus likes this.
    02-11-2018 06:12 PM
  21. TylerLV76's Avatar
    I don’t have a home theatre any more so this could certainly work for me. I don’t need anything fancy but would like some decent sound. Since it’s integrated with products I already have and trust, it makes sense.

    Siri will be improving with Apples acquisition of Vocal IQ, but can wait for that.

    Holy cra*, I’m talking myself into buying one of these when I previously didn’t have any interest. 🤣
    Lol. The siri thing, Im skeptical on and feel there is a good reason to be. The rest though, you are the person this appeals to and there is nothing wrong with that. My Apple tv is my kitchen tv device and really only bought it for a hub for HomeKit.

    Where Apple could have got me was with bluetooth. After hearing it yesterday, I will say with complete certainty, if this thing had bluetooth Id own one right now. In fact, Id own 2. One in my shop at work and one in my living room for when I dont want big booming sound.
    02-11-2018 06:17 PM
  22. TgeekB's Avatar
    Takes about 30 second to scroll through until you see the homepod displayed but regardless it's at around 2:03.

    I don't think anyone is saying you shouldn't buy one. I certainly am not - I'm disappointed with some of the shortcomings but that didn't stop me from buying one. But I'd be lying if I didn't say I wish it had a line in so I could plug an echo into it and have the best of both worlds - Alexa and the superior sound of the HomePod.

    Apple TV is ok, does the job but doesn't necessarily do anything substantially better than competing products for what I primarily use it for (Netflix / Hulu / HBO NOW).

    I love my Apple Watch and if the iteration of the HomePod is in anyway similar to what we've seen with the Apple Watch it will be successful. I'm a bit nervous though considering how slow (to non-existant) the advancements in SiriKit have been since it was released.

    None of that changes that the reviews are not being unfair like the premise of this topic implied.
    A line in would be excellent, no doubt. Maybe HomePod2 will.
    02-11-2018 06:17 PM
  23. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    The HomePod is designed to work with Apple Music, from the beginning. That is what Phil Shiller said during the Keynote.
    02-11-2018 06:26 PM
  24. jgibson2400's Avatar
    Where Apple could have got me was with bluetooth. After hearing it yesterday, I will say with complete certainty, if this thing had bluetooth Id own one right now. In fact, Id own 2.
    This is the one of the areas where I think the accusations of being hostile (or better stated consumer unfriendly) is justifiable. I can understand no line in (even though I think it would have made it an better product) to keep it fully wireless. But I cannot think of a compelling reason (other than lock-in?) to why Bluetooth (which it has all the hardware for) is not enabled for audio. If anyone has a compelling reason for the omission I'd love to hear it.
    02-11-2018 06:26 PM
  25. jgibson2400's Avatar
    The HomePod is designed to work with Apple Music, from the beginning. That is what Phil Shiller said during the Keynote.
    Of course, just as Google Home is designed to work with Google Play Music and Amazon Echo is designed to work with Amazon's Music service. The difference is that while the competitors to the HomePod designed their products to work with their music services they created a platform that also allows consumers to also use other services with their devices if they have the desire to do so.

    Beating the same drum to death... Not a problem if it wasn't presented as a competitor to the other smart speakers but since it was - completely fair to make it a point in the reviews that HomePod fails to offer similar options.
    02-11-2018 06:33 PM
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