Apple officially launched the HomePod on Feb. 9, which made it a competitor in the smart speaker race currently dominated by Amazon thanks to its Echo line of devices and its Alexa voice assistant.
Initial HomePod reviews were lukewarm at best. Many critics praised the device's tremendous audio quality, with some saying that it sounds even better than speakers above its $350 price point, but good quality audio isn't the only component in a functional smart speaker. It also has to be, well, smart — and it's kind of not that smart.
Siri-based functions on the HomePod are still very limited at present, and it doesn't recognize different voices like Amazon and Google's speakers can, which could be a nightmare for households with multiple members. There's also the matter of Apple being frigid about its ecosystem — yes, the HomePod can only be used with an iOS device. No Android allowed. For now, at least.
Sonos knows that its smart speakers are better than Apple's, so it's mocking Apple's launch. The company just released a playlist containing cleverly arranged tracks including Adele's "Hello," Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams's "Apple," with each word making up a message:
• "Something About Us"
• "Feels Right"
• "Even Though"
• "You're Crazy"
• "For This"
• "Two Is Better Than One"
• "Just Playing (Dreams)"
• "It's A Party"
• "Everybody's Coming To My House"
• "Even You"
• "Come As You Are"
• "Fruit Machine"
• "No Matter What You're Told"
• "We're Going To Be Friends"
• "Over Everything"
The kicker here is that the playlist is on Spotify, which doesn't work natively on HomePod — users would have to cast their Spotify tunes via AirPlay, as the device only supports Apple Music for now. Also, has anyone ever called Apple "Fruit Machine?" We don't think so!
Sonos To Apple: We're Friends
The most notable part of the message is that Sonos is clearly trying to maintain its friendship with the Cupertino brand. After all, even if it's competing with Apple, it still relies on integration with Apple's products for its smart speakers to work. So its shade-throwing was light at best, lest it pisses Apple off and convinces it to make iOS devices incompatible with Sonos speakers altogether.
The company has reason to fear, though. Even though the HomePod is a relatively underwhelming smart speaker in terms of voice assistant features, Apple's brand loyalty is probably second to none, so devout fans will most likely flock Apple stores to buy this speaker.