Apple is looking to boost HomePod sales with better software.
As reported by Bloomberg, the company hired Afrooz Family to lead software development efforts for its smart speaker as it tries to compete with Amazon and Google.
The iPhone maker is hiring Afrooz Family to lead the job, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The family worked at Apple from 2012 to 2016 before leaving to co-found audio startup Syng with former Apple industrial designer Christopher Stringer. The family left the startup earlier this year after helping develop the company’s product, Cell Alpha.
Jason Harrison, who had overseen the HomePod software, left Apple last year for Airbnb Inc. The original HomePod, which debuted at $ 349 in 2018, sold poorly and was discontinued earlier this year. Last fall, Apple reviewed the concept with the $ 99 HomePod mini.
According to the report, Family was working as an audio engineer at Apple when the company designed and released the original HomePod. While the $ 349 smart speaker didn’t do well, the $ 99 HomePod mini has done better for the company. However, it hasn’t caught up with Amazon and Google, who are still releasing $ 49 smart speakers to the market.
The report also noted that the company still plans to launch a new product as early as 2023 that will combine the Apple TV and HomePod along with a FaceTime camera.
An Apple representative declined to comment on the Bloomberg story.
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