Apple's Unveils New HomePod Voice-controlled Speaker, Competing With Amazon's Echo

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Apple Inc. unveiled Monday its "HomePod" wireless speaker, which the company said "reinvents music in the home" by using Siri intelligence, spacial awareness to sense its location in a room and wireless access to Apple's music library. "HomePod is designed for voice control with an array of six microphones, so users can interact with it from across the room, even while loud music is playing," the company said in a statement. In comparison, Amazon.com Inc.'s voice-controlled speaker Amazon Echo has seven microphones "so it can hear you from across the room--even while music is playing." Apple said the HomePod can be used as a "home assistant," to send messages, get updates on news, sports and weather and control home devices. Apple said HomePod stands 7 inches tall and will available for $349 in December. Amazon Echo stands 9.3 inches tall and costs $179.99. Apple's stock slumped 1.1% in afternoon trade, while Amazon's stock gained 0.6%. Year to date, Apple shares have rallied 33%, Amazon's stock has climbed 35% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.9%.

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