Tim Cook explains what sets HomePod apart from existing smart speakers

As part of his one-day tour of Canada yesterday, Tim Cook offered an interview to the Financial Post following his visit to e-commerce platform Shopify’s headquarters. Cook used the interview as an opportunity to tout Apple’s efforts in augmented realty, as well as talk about the HomePod…

Regarding AR, Cook reiterated his bullish views on the technology, saying that he sees it as “the most profound” technology in the future because of how it amplifies human performance. Furthermore, he says he believes that AR will continue to gain adoption at a fast rate:

“I believe that AR is the most profound technology of the future,” Cook said. “It amplifies human performance. It amplifies humans, not substitutes, and doesn’t isolate. I’m a huge believer in it.”

“I see AR taking off very quickly,” he added. “I see developers across Canada adopting at a very fast rate, bringing their craft to market and I couldn’t be happier with it.”

Also in the interview, given on the eve of Apple’s HomePod release announcement, Cook offered some color as to what sets its smart speaker apart from competitors. While some have criticized the HomePod for being a “me too” product in response to efforts from Amazon and Google, Cook says that’s not the case.

The Apple CEO explained that the integration between the HomePod hardware and iOS is one thing that will make it unique:

 “Competition makes all of us better and I welcome it,” Cook said. “(But) if you are both trying to license something and compete with your licensees, this is a difficult model and it remains to be seen if it can be successful or not.”

He also adds that sound quality is a differentiating factor of HomePod, saying that one thing that was missing from the smart speaker market was quality audio:

“We think one thing that was missing from this market was a quality audio experience, a very immersive audio experience,” Cook said. “Music deserves that kind of quality as opposed to some kind of squeaky sound.”

The full interview is definitely worth a read and can be found here. Do you agree with Cook’s beliefs that sound quality and integration with iOS are what set HomePod apart from the competition? Let us know down in the comments.

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