Apple is number one in smartwatches and wireless headphones. Cupertino, on the other hand, is struggling to assert itself with connected speakers as it faces competition from Google and Amazon. One of the reasons Apple’s speakers don’t sell as well as its two main competitors is the lack of integration with many third-party services. This situation is partly due to Apple’s policy of keeping its users in a closed ecosystem.
But Apple’s position is gradually changing. When Apple launched the HomePod, Cupertino only offered true integration for Apple Music. However, in 2020 the company started accepting third-party streaming services.
And this week, Deezer is announcing the integration of its streaming service with the HomePod and HomePod mini.
What does that mean ?
If it was previously possible to listen to Deezer’s music over AirPlay, now you can choose that streaming service as the default service for your HomePod or HomePod Mini speakers. The main benefit is that from now on you can use Siri to play a playlist or song on Deezer.
This is of course good news for the French streaming service. “Deezer on the Apple HomePod is the perfect companion when you need to multitask and quickly and easily enjoy the right music at the right time. Thanks to Deezer on the HomePod, our listeners don’t have to compromise on audio quality. HiFi users, on the other hand, can enjoy all of their favorite songs without loss, ”said Nicolas Pinoteau, Director Partner Integrations at Deezer. This integration is available in France, Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the UK, and the US.
For Apple, the introduction of Deezer (one of the major players in the market) increases the number of options available for listening to music through the speakers. And thanks to that, the Cupertino company is likely hoping to increase its sales. It should be noted, however, that market leader Spotify doesn’t currently offer integration with Apple’s HomePod speakers.
HomePod: strategy change for Apple?
As explained above, when Apple launched the HomePod, it wanted to impose Apple Music on users, while Google and Amazon provided a wide variety of third-party services. While its competitors’ products offered many features, Apple preferred to focus on sound quality. Finally, Apple only offered a premium product, while you can have a “mini” speaker on Google, for example, for only 59 euros.
In 2020, Apple appears to have changed its strategy. For a start, the company is now accepting the integration of third-party services that are in direct competition with Apple Music, such as: B. Deezer. In addition, the Cupertino company has added many features for home automation. And with the HomePod mini, it offers a cheaper product than the HomePod (which is no longer sold).
The connected home, a very important market
Now it remains to be seen whether Apple can gain market share through these efforts. In any case, smart home device shipping is expected to see a sharp increase in 2021. IDC said these shipments will grow in double digits: “The market faced a number of challenges in 2020, including high unemployment, uneven economic recovery, and foreclosures. Nevertheless, positive growth was recorded in all device categories in 2020 compared to the previous year. Consumers have shifted their spending priorities from other areas such as vacation, dining, or going to the movies to focus on adding comfort, convenience, and entertainment to the home. Hence, we found that smart home devices like streaming sticks, smart speakers, security devices, smart lights and the like performed well over the past year. “”
It should also be noted that rumors are already floating around right now about the next products Apple might launch.