Apple's HomePod is a little late to the smart speaker party, particularly compared to Amazon and Google, but it sounds like that's the least of the devices issues. Not only is it rather expensive, Apple's come out and revealed that the speaker won't be supporting any third-party audio services.
It shouldn't really be a surprise, given Apple's track record with favouring the services that it controls. That means anyone who goes out and buys the HomePod will only be able to listen to Apple Music, Beats 1, iTunes Music and Podcasts, and anything you uploaded to your iCloud Music Library - provided you have an iTunes Match or Apple Music subscription.
That means you'll still be able to listen to music you've bought or obtained by other (questionable) means, but it leaves anyone who prefers to use services like Spotify out in the cold. That is, unless, you use a second device that does support your service of choice, and link it to HomePod via Airplay. But that's a huge pain in the arse.
Apple claims that HomePod isn't about market dominance, but rather it's about offering the best possible audio experience. Restricting the flow of music is certainly one way the input is kept up to scratch, but it'll be interesting to see how consumers react to such limited integration. Especially since Amazon, Google, and Sonos offer more for a lower price.
But that's just one of the limitations that's popped up in recent days that might put some people off. Android owners, for instance, apparently won't be able to connect their phones to HomePod at all, and since there's no auxiliary socket you can't physically plug in any of your devices.
Will this news affect the number of people who buy into Apple's promises? Maybe a little, but for the most part people don't buy Apple products because they're anything special. They buy them because they're Apple products, and you can never underestimate the power of brand loyalty. [Apple via Slashgear]