A smart speaker winter is coming for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) consumers, with the tech titan taking on the smart speaker market; one that Gene Munster – serving a bullish take from his research-driven, venture capital firm Loup Ventures – anticipates is about to be a homerun for the Apple team. Shipping takes off starting December, and famed Apple expert Munster says not to be duped by a music-centric marketing package: consider this CEO Tim Cook’s swing at rival Amazon’s Echo for a “better sounding” smart speaker.
Having followed the stock ever since his first bullish call, before the first iPhone model even hit the market, Munster recognizes a quantum “leap” when he sees one, and his ante champions the HomePod’s standout position to “win” in the smart speaker front line. “The company is making Siri a ubiquitous, ambient presence that connects and controls all your connected devices and services – and making a leap forward in the transition to voice-first computing,” assesses the research analyst.
Additionally, with an evolving scope of human interaction with computers, the analyst underscores how meaningful natural language interface will become in a futuristic world. There will come a time, says Munster, when rather than turning to keyboards, computers will respond to our voices, mannerisms, “or even thoughts,” with voice taking over rapidly as a favorite interface.
In fact, the analyst believes this makes sense, as natural language interface provides both a “more natural” form of interaction with devices all while achieving higher efficiency. Entering verbal commands into the equation allows machines to better detect and put forth intel- something, which the analyst believes Siri performs in impression fashion.
Other companies are out there processing commands like Siri, but the analyst asserts that it boils down to more than just functionality: “[…] Apple’s seamlessly integrated ecosystem of devices puts them in a position to employ voice-first computing in ways their competitors can’t match.” Particularly as Apple is in a development to incorporate voice into third-party apps, enabling users to accomplish tasks with just verbal charges, the analyst believes this marks a crucial “turning point in voice-first computing” for the company.
Overall, even in a market facing an onslaught of competition, where Amazon and Google time and time again bring their finest innovative game as each one vies for tech market gold, Munster is all-in for this tech titan’s path to lead the pack. “Apple is well-positioned for long-term success. As the technology improves, which our research suggests can happen quickly, competitors will converge, and the long-term winner will be the product that provides its user with a heightened experience and improved efficiency. We believe Apple is uniquely positioned to do so, as Apple’s device ecosystem delivers a frictionless experience, which will only get better with the adoption of voice-first computing,” concludes the analyst.
TipRanks analytics demonstrates AAPL as a Buy. Based on 34 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 25 rate a Buy on Apple stock while 9 maintain a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $170.10, marking a 6% upside from where the stock is currently trading.