AppleInsider is supported by your audience and can earn commissions as an Amazon Associate and Affiliate Partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate associations do not influence our editorial content.
Apple hires a former staff member as the HomePod Software Head in hopes of competing with the best-selling Amazon Echo smart speaker.
Afrooz Family returns to Apple to lead the HomePod software department. The family worked with Apple from 2012 to 2018, first as in audio applications and then as a senior audio engineer.
According to Bloomberg, Family left Apple to co-found audio startup Sync with former Apple industrial designer Christopher Stringer. He left Syng in early 2021 after helping develop the startup’s Cell Alpha, known as the world’s first triphonic loudspeaker.
The new HomePod Software Chief received his BA, BA in Music from Berkley, and his MA in Music, Science and Technology from Stanford University.
Apple has struggled to make a significant dent in the smart speaker market, which is dominated by speakers from Amazon and Google. Researchers have suggested that more than two-thirds of smart speakers in the US are branded Amazon, while Google accounts for a quarter. Apple ranks a distant third.
In March, Apple discontinued its full-size HomePod to focus on its diminutive HomePod mini, a $ 99 smart speaker that was announced in fall 2020.