The Apple HomePod is a smart speaker that competes with the likes of Alexa. The product is releasing in China, after it launched in various other countries following its U.S. debut in February 2018. In China, it will sell for 2,799 yuan, which is a little over $400 USD. This brings up the question of whether Apple HomePod is better than Alexa. Should you buy a HomePod?
Apple HomePod Is Usually $349 USD
The HomePod, which is Apple’s smart speaker, is usually $349 USD. In China, however, it will be selling for over $400 USD. The device costs almost twice as much as Amazon’s Echo, dubbed Alexa.
Is Apple HomePod Worth It?
The product marks Apple’s late entrance into the smart speaker industry, as it debuted in the U.S. in February of 2018. Following Apple’s late release of its HomePod, there were multiple user reviews complaining about the price tag. The question is whether Apple HomePod is worth the price. Of course, there are pros and cons.
While users noted that the sound quality was outstanding, there were multiple issues that they found with the Apple HomePod. For example, users complained that the HomePod has many requirements for one to use it as a smart speaker. For example, HomePod only connects with an iOS device. And, if someone uses Spotify but not Apple Music to play music, there will be difficulties. The voice controls will not work as well; and, you cannot ask for certain Spotify songs. Apple HomePod does not even use Bluetooth. However, you can still ask Siri trivial questions such as the weather; Siri will answer these questions.
Even more, Siri can even read your last text message out loud and send a text on your behalf. Though, be careful, as apparently, Siri cannot tell 2 voices apart. Meaning, if your friend decides to ask the smart speaker to read out loud your last text, Siri will comply. If you need to keep these things confidential, please make sure to disable the “Personal Requests” setting.
Siri Supports Chinese: Cantonese and Mandarin
What Siri does do better than Alexa is that it supports Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese. Alexa does not support Cantonese and Mandarin. This is why Siri might do better in China than Alexa. But, the smart speaker will still face competition from China’s own Alexas, such as Baidu’s smart speakers. Thus, the HomePod smart speaker is still a gamble for Apple in China. However, if Chinese customers prefer the Apple ecosystem over local products, then this is one more item in Apple’s arsenal.