Apple has oftentimes been genius about their product positioning and how it does fit into the marketplace as well as their existing portfolio. The HomePod is the latest example of this.
There's been two trends during recent years:
1. Wireless, multi room home speaker systems like Sonos or those from Bose (premium, high priced device setups with a focus on sound and music)
2. Smart Assistant speakers like the Echo (affordable ambient computing systems for a smart home)
So what does Apple do?
They present a wireless, premium audio solution that undercuts Sonos in price and at the same time doubles as your ambient smart home system. Like with almost everything else Apple does, it's a unique opportunity they have because they scaled up a massive userbase and ecosystem over the last 10 years. Again, they preserved a market opportunity for themselves that's probably ripe to harvest. For any Apple-household with iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS devices the HomePod will naturally be the go-to solution nobody else is able to provide.
The Apple ecosystem grow that step more cozy.
It will also be very interesting to see how it lays the groundwork for ambient OS and AI effforts in the years to come.