Apple hires a new HomePod software lead amid speaker market struggles

Amid struggles to make headway within the sensible speaker market, Apple has employed a new HomePod software head, based on Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman. The company has reportedly introduced onboard Afrooz Family, who co-founded the high-end audio startup Syng with former Apple designer Christopher Stringer.

Apple’s $349 HomePod arrived in 2018 to very blended critiques, and was discontinued early this year. The company has noticeably didn’t compete with sensible speaker rivals, notably Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo gadgets and Google’s Assistant speaker household. 

Family labored for Apple between 2012 and 2016 and was on the unique HomePod staff earlier than beginning Syng. That company aimed to develop a “revolutionary” speaker to supply immersive audio, however ultimately developed a fairly area of interest, $1,800 speaker. The earlier HomePod software head, Jason Harrison, left Apple for Airbnb final year. 

Apple’s newest speaker product is the $99 HomePod mini, which we described in our Engadget review as an “acceptable Echo alternative.” That gadget has reportedly helped gross sales a bit, however hasn’t put a lot of a dent in a market dominated by Amazon and Google, based on Bloomberg.

The greatest drawback with Apple’s sensible audio system could also be Siri and HomeKit, which are not as broadly supported as Alexa and Google Assistant. The authentic HomePod was additionally fairly costly at launch. To make inroads, Apple may have to vary its method and proceed to enhance integration — because it not too long ago did with a HomePod mini replace that made it work with Apple TV. Apple’s major objective is to merge its HomePod and Apple TV {hardware}, based on Gurman. 

Apple is holding its Unleashed occasion on Monday, the place it is anticipated to launch new MacBooks and presumably AirPods, however there is not any rumors of a new HomePod product coming any time quickly. 

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