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Apple bets on smart speaker's sound quality, brand

HomePod must play catch-up to Amazon, Google rivals

SAN JOSE, U.S. -- Apple has finally thrown its hat in the ring in the escalating competition over voice-activated speakers. But whether its focus on sound quality and customer loyalty will work remains to be seen.

"Just like we did with portable music, we want to reinvent home music," CEO Tim Cook declared Monday toward the end of his keynote address at the opening of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference here.

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