The Echo, released in 2015, and Google Home, released previous year, were the first entrants in a promising market.
CEO Tim Cook kicked off Apple's annual conference for software programmers on Monday.
HomePod will compete with Amazon's Echo and Google Home for the smart speaker market, and will support Apple Music and Siri and will provide news, traffic updates and play music. "HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a lovely speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion free music and be a helpful assistant around your home". Siri can get conversational too, so during a song you could ask 'Who is the lead singer of this band?' and the HomePod will understand that you're referring to the band that's playing.
Unlike those other smart speakers, Apple is positioning the HomePod primarily as a way to listen to and discover new songs and artists.
Also, in important news for the upcoming macOS release, High Sierra, there will be an update to Safari that helps block site trackers and autoplaying videos - something that seems to be an epidemic on media sites right now and it drives me, personally, insane.
Apple launched a new size for its iPad - 10.5-inches.
The speaker, while expected by some industry watchers, marked Apple's first new product announcement since the Apple Watch in September 2014. Apple said that makes the Mac a great platform for development virtual-reality "experiences". The Apple Watch is the company's most innovative product of the past few years, and its growth has been steady but slow.
It is created to work with the Apple Music subscription service and can produce rich sound while tapping into the artificial intelligence power of Siri.
Apple wants its digital assistant to be more helpful in navigating your digital life.
Apple is late on VR.
Apple will begin shipping the HomePod to the United States, Britain and Australia in December. It's the first time in 15 years that Apple has held its conference in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley.
But the prospect of a completely new Apple product, combined with a more useful Siri, is the most anticipated possibility for analysts and Apple fans.
HomePod will run on the Apple A8 silicon, with what Apple is calling "perhaps the biggest brain ever in a speaker".
Still, the Apple Watch hasn't been a smash hit, fueling worries that the company's ability to transfix customers had waned after the 2011 death of co-founder Steve Jobs. It would mark an effort by Apple to catch up with Amazon and Google.
Siri's name recognition could play a role in HomePod adoption.