While Apple's (AAPL) iMac updates and the new HomePod speaker drew most of the attention at the company's World Wide Developers conference Monday, investors may have missed the most notable trend coming from the tech giant.
Many non-hardware companies have also announced plans to launch their own exclusive smart speakers targeting both local and global markets this year, alongside smaller startups active in the business segment. They are selling this as a speaker first, one that they think will kill Sonos in quality, while offering up Siri integration as a bonus.
But the company relented, and Apple's larger phones have become hot commodities as more people have embraced having a bigger display to look at pictures and watch video on the devices. Because it's a sea of mostly icons sans text, however, you really have to know your way around this thing to use it effectively.
The headline announcement was Apple's new HomePod, a smart speaker which will be competing with the Amazon Echo and Google Home. The HomePod will take Siri from iPhones into more homes and turn it into a hub for Apple's other products and services.
"Just like with portable music, we want to reinvent home music", Apple CEO Tim Cook said.
64-bit processors are capable of handling massively higher amounts of data at once, around four billion times higher than 32-bit processors, which make them much faster to use. With Apple launching iOS 11, trust me it's going to only better Siri and help you have a better experience at enjoying life.
But because the HomePod is largely limited to Apple Music and Apple's other services, it doesn't compare well with the Echo, especially when you factor in the fact that at $350, Apple's home speaker will cost $170 more than Amazon's. The new model starts at $649 and will start shipping next week.
The device is equipped with six different microphones so that users can use their voices to interact with the device fluently and effectively "even while loud music is playing", according to Apple.
The HomePod will be available in December this year, initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US.
Consumer spending on smart home related products and services will reach almost $90 billion this year and reach $155 billion by 2022, according to consultant Strategy Analytics.
Apple is also updating the operating software for its Apple Watch, including new watch faces, more personalized alerts that use machine learning to tailor information to you based on your routines and tastes. Apple SVP Craig Federighi said the company has spent a year "perfecting it" and adding "intelligent tracking prevention" to lessen ad trackers.
Other updates arriving with iOS 11 include new Loop and Bounce effects for photos, Apple Pay payments via Messages and Siri, and a "do not disturb" feature that can be enabled while driving. Just like the magician who always has something up his sleeve, Apple also has a new feature or features up its sleeve on every launch.