Yet here we are.
Apple touted sound quality as a major differentiator for the Homepod, which will retail at $349, a pricier alternative to the Echo or Google Home, which sell for $179 and $129, respectively. HomePod will also be spatially aware to improve music quality. It will play music while helping people manage their lives and homes. You just bark commands at the HomePod, and (to the extent that Siri can understand you) it will do your bidding. This speaker is "wrapped in a seamless mesh fabric" that's made to look good and perform well with speakers blasting through it.
Apple Watch has emerged as the market leader for smartwatches - but it has competition after including basic fitness trackers in the count. Bloomberg reported late last month that the device has already entered production, and will ship later this year.
The new software also contains a "Do Not Disturb While Driving" mode, which Apple says will help prevent iPhones distracting those behind the wheel, and a new "Files" app that resembles a traditional computer file system for viewing and organising documents. The increased power means Apple needed to craft a new kind of cooling mechanism to keep the components' temperatures lowered in the skinny enclosure. The company as a whole has posted plump 38 to 40 percent gross profit margins fairly consistent for years. Living inside an apple bubble where you can only access a limited range of products should probably be more attractive to Apple than to its users for obvious reasons.
And in 2016, Apple announced Limit Ad Tracking in iOS 10, which allows users to opt out of ad tracking and prevents ad networks from targeting those users with ads.
The HomePod is Apple's first new gadget in almost three years, following its announcement of the Apple Watch in September 2014.
Supported features include news, unit conversion, messages, reminders, podcast playback, setting alarms and timers, translation, stock info, general knowledge, weather, traffic info, sports scores, and it also works as a HomeKit bridge. Apple is yet to reveal what it will cost in the United Kingdom, but we expect to see it price around £300.
The US technology firm has just revealed its all-new HomePod and it could be the gadget to own this Christmas. That's because the profit margin targets that have been sacrosanct increasingly look like handcuffs. Apple's pitch, as usual, is that it's delivering a more premium audio experience. However, by making it hard to integrate with non-Apple services, many consumers will be forced to stay away from this late addition to an increasingly crowded digital marketplace.
If it works as described, AirPlay could replace every first-party app from audio makers like Bose, Sonos, Ultimate Ears and dozens of others. Services revenue is relatively small but growing quickly. Apple says the machine is fast enough for real-time 3D rendering, code compiling and designing virtual reality content.
"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
The "HomePod" speaker unveiled at Apple's annual developers conference is similar to rival devices that have been released during the past two years. For both companies, the priority is to attract as many customers as possible, without worrying too much about making a profit from each one. But the company is now being held back by those same enviable profits. And it is not just with mobile devices that Apple is going virtual.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.