The time is right for Apple to buy Sonos

It’s been a busy couple of months for smart speakers – Amazon released a bunch just this week, including updated versions of its existing Echo hardware and a new Echo Studio with premium sound. Sonos also introduced its first portable speaker with Bluetooth support, the Sonos Move, and in August launched its collaboration collection with […]

Amazon unveils the $199 Echo Studio, its answer to the Apple HomePod and Google Home Max

Today at a special event Amazon unveiled a bevy of new Echo devices including several aimed a bit upmarket.  The Echo Studio is Amazon’s answer to the Google Nest Max and Apple HomePod. It’s larger than a normal Echo, supports 3D audio and Dolby Atmos. The seems to have device five drivers: one, downward facing […]

Apple’s HomePod set to gain some long overdue functionality this fall

It’s no secret that the HomePod’s software updates have been a bit sluggish, which made it all the more alarming that the device was barely touched on in yesterday’s Apple event. Well, even as pre-launch promises are still getting ironed out, by the fall Apple says that its home smart speaker will be gaining new […]

Amazon said to be launching new Echo speaker with premium sound next year

Amazon is reportedly looking to offer an Echo that more directly competes with high-end speakers like the Sonos line of devices or Apple’s HomePod, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The speaker should be released sometime next year, according to the sources cited in the report, and will be somewhat wider than the existing […]

Daily Crunch: Apple cuts HomePod prices

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Apple’s HomePod gets a $50 price cut Announced in mid-2017 and released in early 2018, the Siri-powered product brought a very […]

Over a quarter of US adults now own a smart speaker, typically an Amazon Echo

U.S. smart speaker owners grew 40 percent over 2018 to now reach 66.4 million — or 26.2 percent of the U.S. adult population — according to a new report from Voicebot.ai and Voicify released this week, which detailed adoption patterns and device market share. The report also reconfirmed Amazon Echo’s lead, noting the Alexa-powered smart […]

Report: Smart speaker adoption in U.S. reaches 66M units, with Amazon leading

Smart speakers had a good holiday. Amazon already said its Echo Dot outsold all other items on its site this holiday season, which hinted toward the sizable growth for the voice-powered speaker market. Today, research firm CIRP is reporting the U.S. installed base for speakers grew to 66 million units in December 2018, up from […]

Apple HomePod comes to China at $400 amid iPhone sales woes

Apple is finally launching HomePod in China, but the timing is tricky as the premium device will have to wrestle with local competitors and a slowing economy. The firm said over the weekend that its smart speaker will be available in Mainland China and Hong Kong starting January 18, adding to a list of countries where […]

Smart speakers hit critical mass in 2018

We already know Alexa had a good Christmas — the app shot to the top of the App Store over the holidays, and the Alexa service even briefly crashed from all the new users. But Alexa, along with other smart speaker devices like Google Home, didn’t just have a good holiday — they had a […]