According to a detailed report published by Bloomberg Apple engineers had reportedly been working on HomePod prototypes for the past five years, with original versions standing three feet tall (around five times as tall as the current HomePod), with another supposedly shaped like a flat panel with a mesh screen on the front.
The insight reveals that the HomePod was originally a side project that a group of Mac audio engineers had been playing with for about five years, with the team wanting to create a speaker that sounded better than the ones sold by the likes of Bose, JBL, and Harman Kardon.
Bloomberg reports Apple was “blindsided” when Amazon launched its Echo speaker integrated with its voice-activated personal assistant Alexa while they were secretly developing the device, with Apple engineers reportedly accusing one another of leaking details of their project to Amazon.
HomePod was originally a side project cooked up about five years ago by a group of Mac audio engineers, who wanted to create a speaker that sounded better than the ones sold by the likes of Bose, JBL, and Harman Kardon. Side projects aren’t uncommon at Apple, where employees are encouraged to follow their muse so long as their day jobs come first. – The Apple engineers jokingly accused one another of leaking details of their project to Amazon, then bought Echos so they could take them apart and see how they were put together. They quickly deemed the Echo’s sound quality inferior and got back to work building a better speaker.
Apple recently announced that the HomePod, which was scheduled to launch in December, will be delayed until some point in ‘early 2018’.