My history as an Apple customer goes back a few decades, back into the last century, back to when Apple and the Mac were synonymous; before The Second Coming of Steve Jobs. Some things change. Some do not.
Remember the iPod circa 2001? Apple had just opened a few dozen Apple Stores here and there and decided to launch a music player to work with iTunes. Everything about iPod and iTunes was wrong and technology critics were quick to point out the problems. Sure, iPod sounded great. Just like HomePod in 2018.
Only Apple Only
The problem with iPod back in 2001 seems to reverberate through history all the way to HomePod. iPod and iTunes back in 2001 was, 1) Apple only, 2) too expensive, 3) had too much competition in the marketplace already, and did I mention that iPod only ran on the Mac? This was a product for Apple’s customers only (maybe 20-million back then) and destined to failure.
OK, let’s fast-forward to 2018 and HomePod. Apple’s little speaker that could, does. Just like iPod, HomePod is, 1) Apple only, 2) too expensive (relative to competition), and 3) had too much competition among talking speakers already in the market.
HomePod is not Mac only. It’s Apple only. HomePod only works if you’re already an Apple customer and that means own an iPhone or iPad and have a music collection on iTunes. Because nattering nabobs of negativism have to earn a living, and it’s much easier to earn one by writing negativity about Apple, Vlad Savov probably was forced to write about Apple’s walled garden ecosystem where only those humans who seek comfort and joy with technology dare to tread.
The HomePod is the point of no return for Apple fans
This speaker is openly hostile to any hardware or service not made by Apple
Openly hostile? Yeah, sure. Just like iPod and iTunes in 2001. How did that venture turn out for Apple?
The notion of Apple’s “walled garden” ecosystem of products precedes even the iPhone. For as long as the company has existed, Apple products have worked best with other Apple products and that’s been that.
True that. Except Vlad leaves open the possibility that HomePod is worse. Yes, Macs run Windows. Windows PC customers use iTunes, Apple TV, and can own iPhones, iPad, and Watch, so the Apple ecosystem isn’t exclusive to Mac customers as the iPod was back in 2001.
But the new HomePod… ratchets this commitment up another notch. If you thought you were locked inside the Apple ecosystem before, buying a HomePod is like adding an iron ball to those chains.
Oh the humanity! We are doomed because Apple sells yet another product that only works with another Apple product. Shame, Apple. Shame. Oh. Wait. Doesn’t Watch only work with iPhone? Do not AirPods work only with iPhone and iPad (and Mac, if you choose). It’s been four seconds of reading. I’m tired. What’s the problem again, Vlad?
The HomePod costs $349. That’s a high price for the vast majority of people, and it pretty much guarantees that you’ll be using the HomePod as the primary listening device in your home.
Uh, no. It will be the television for most of us. Not much will change other than music will sound better than speaker systems that are priced much higher and far better than the crappy sound coming from Echo and Alexa.
This is both a speaker and an anchor locking you in place exactly where you are — because to even consider a HomePod you must already have at least one foot inside Apple’s ecosystem.
Unlike the original iPod. Or, Watch. Or, AirPods. Hmmm. Vlad is correct. Apple’s walled garden ecosystem is a regular old ball and chain for a billion earthlings.
Apple has shown itself a master of creating synergistic effects between its products, with the Apple Watch, AirPods, Mac, and now HomePod each feeding the demand for an iPhone user to remain an iPhone user. The striking thing to me today is just how aggressive the Apple separatism is with the HomePod.
Well, duh. And it seems as if Apple has done this kind of thing for a few decades. Hey, Vlad. Does anyone else do what Apple does?
I would argue that we should collectively reject the lock-in practice that Apple is currently engaging in.
Because Apple has never done this before?
How easy will it be for you to extricate yourself from the company that already provides your phone, laptop, smartwatch, earphones, speakers, car and TV interface, and — via Apple HomeKit — all your smart home gadgets and devices?
Easy. eBay. CraigsList. Family, neighbors, friends, and co-workers would love the buy your Apple gear, Vlad. Then you can buy whatever else you want and you would be in the vast majority of humanity because Apple only has about 1-billion customers and everyone else has about 2-billion customers.
What Apple lacks is the will or interest to be compatible with others… it is also brazenly hostile to any hardware or service not made by Apple. If you decide to buy one, do so with the full awareness of how deeply ensconced inside the Apple bubble you will be.
Uh huh. Been there. Done that. The air is easier to breathe inside the filtered bubble from Cupertino.