Who came out on may 14 of this year on the page “Buy HomePod” in the online Apple store for a surprise: the “Continue” button was inactive and in the “delivery Period” it was noted that HomePod “Sold Out”. Sold out. Something really new with the HomePod does not happen often, but last week it was the second big news about it: may 11 India has started its official sale. And Amazon and other online stores where you can buy HomePod, smart speakers Apple suddenly fell. This sale waiting for a new model or models HomePod? Since then, things have changed. Now HomePod is no longer “sold out”, field “delivery date” has disappeared along with commencing the public status, the “Continue” button remains inactive. What will it be?

Status “Sold Out” in the online Apple store, I don’t think was used more than ever. Someone, it seems, proved unsuccessful (fatal) for him the initiative. The status stayed on the site for about half an hour – then he disappeared. Fortunately, it saves a screenshot. But that’s not the only oddity: the media sympathetic to Apple, who reported about “Sold Out” and failed myself the pleasure to speculate about the causes and consequences of this status, suddenly announced that this is nothing more than a delay in supply. As if on cue. Then even those who do not believe that an intelligent columns from Apple in the near future, waiting for something out of the ordinary (they eliminated, replaced by mini HomePod, will update the current HomePod, etc.), felt and thought.

What’s the problem HomePod?

February 9, 2018 first HomePod were delivered to customers in the United States, Australia and the UK. On the start of pre-orders it announced on January 26, six months after his presentation at the worldwide developers conference Apple (WWDC) in 2017. It was one of the best presentations Phil Schiller, perhaps the best of all. If HomePod, as promised and planned in the Apple, went on sale in the fall of 2017, almost certainly it would be a very different fate. Competitors had to become familiar with its structure, but copy the most attractive of its unique characteristics, they would not have time. But the maniacal perfectionism of Apple has played with the company a malicious joke.

18 Feb 2018 Betina büchel, Professor of Lausanne international Institute for management development (IMD), analyzing the situation on the market is a clever speaker, as a theorem from the course of high school, clearly and convincingly proven that the HomePod is completely and hopelessly lost in the competition. The most important advantage of smart dynamics from Apple was supposed to be Siri (the internal name of this device and its design was Siri Speaker), but Alexa from Amazon and Google Assistant manage smart speakers much better.

That it is no coincidence that Amazon opened its voice assistant to third-party developers, adding to his skills, thousands of new. Microsoft in partnership with Harman Kardon developed the Invoke with a very good voice assistant Microsoft Cortana, the HomePod is also not leaving anything to chance.

Alas, in many respects, Mrs. büchel, no matter how unpleasant it was to admit, was right. But HomePod, despite a rocky start in the most favorable conditions, and clear the errors and omissions of its creators, did not become an outsider in this market, and even that is recognized by all, leading it in the most important categories for speaker. The playback quality is a miracle. And love him.

New HomePod

In the summer of 2019 in the Apple held no ordinary meeting. It was convened at the initiative of a group of employees without “big stars on epaulets”. At that time, the demand for HomePod decreased, the price reduction did not help, the financial returns from the sales of this device is slowly but surely approaching the grey area is when the device is still worthwhile, but to invest in its development are already interested. In such cases, the units dealing with these devices is either eliminated or reduced to a few people. Product dies, sometimes for many years.

But the developers HomePod (a meeting was convened on their initiative) loved HomePod and was ready to convince management that if they deal truly, he has a chance. And what causes of his troubles in the wrong attitude of the administration of the company.

What they said, what arguments, and how they seem to be a way to triumph this device – we can only guess. At first glance, all claims against smart speakers Apple belong exclusively to the software latest. Blame the developers that their AI (artificial intelligence, the actual “mind”) yields AI competitors, which voice assistant Siri is hopelessly lost colleagues in competing companies.

And to iron, though, no complaints. The world’s best smart speaker for quality playback! Competitors surpassed the HomePod and the set of functions that are not related to artificial intelligence, and voice interface. But it is a problem of management, not the developers – if there is good will solve it.

They went forward. Given the chance and provided resources. The emergence of new HomePod is already inevitable. Details unknown. There are only rumors, surprisingly inarticulate and vague. For example, that column will be called HomePod mini.

To prevent leakage in the team HomePod are particularly strict. But something you can guess and make inferences.

When will the HomePod 2?

HomePod is used in system-on-chip Apple A8, which was released in 2014. Same as the iPhone 6/6+, iPod touch 6th generation, iPad 4 and Apple TV HD 4th generation. It seems that for the dynamics, even “smart”, more is needed. In the system-on-chip Apple A8 no neural processor, without which modern artificial intelligence and serious improvements to Siri may not be considered. It was one of the reasons is almost certainly. There was another in 2016-2017 planned to open the operating system HomePod for third-party developers. On the website of Apple developers has been published surface, but stimulating a lot of interest, information about audioOS. System based on iOS, with a fundamentally different paradigm for the user interface.

Instead of touch (as in touch interface) the main role in it played the sound. Voice commands and other factors. Then HomePod was late in setting out, testing hundreds of these devices on the household developers have turned leaks – in several of the HomePod returned to Apple, found traces of a careful autopsy.

For HomePod will be an application?

Presentation audioOS and developer tools for her was to become an important part of the WWDC 2018. But, suddenly, in February of 2018 information about audioOS disappeared from the Apple Developer, the authors have not shown at WWDC programs for audioOS announced that all postponed. Meanwhile, third-party programmers were allowed in the Holy of holies Alexa Amazon, customer feedback is rapidly implemented, and the interface of this voice assistant just got better and better. In Apple related leaks (and it was the same people that were supposed to open and promote audioOS) fired. The project HomePod hangs for almost a year.