Apple's HomePod speaker gets February launch date

Krales  The Verge
Krales The Verge
Author

25 January, 2018

Undecided Apple users who have been considering investing in a smart speaker are likely already awaiting the HomePod, despite its high price and lack of certain features. The major difference here however is that Apple's smart speaker will be powered by Siri, the same digital assistant that's now available on iOS devices and macOS computers. The device is under 7-inch tall and takes it cylindrical design cues from the Mac Pro. Surrounded by seamless mesh fabric, audio is 360 degrees due to a seven-tweeter array. Apple's A8 CPU powers the device.

In fact, the features were originally listed along with the bulk of the HomePod's other offerings on the device's main page, but are now grouped in a separate box listing features "coming later this year".

The voice-controlled speaker, unveiled in June a year ago and originally scheduled for a December release, will be available in other markets later, according to a company announcement.

According the Tapei Times, one of the assemblers of the HomePod, Inventec, has begun sending the speaker to the USA - with the initial shipment coming to around 1 million units, and 10 to 12 million units in total.

"HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple".

"But we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers". Last week, International Business Times reported that the HomePod was delayed because Apple still needed time for "fine-tuning" the device's software and hardware integration.

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Six months after it was first announced, Apple's HomePod has finally gotten a release date: The smart speaker will be available for preorder Friday, and will ship and come to stores on February 9, Apple announced Tuesday.

Consumers from the US, United Kingdom and Australia will have the first chance to purchase the device, followed by customers in France and Germany later this spring.

The HomePod comes with a $349 United States dollars price tag and is available in white and grey.

The HomePod will not be available in Canada just yet.

Voice-activated speakers have moved to the forefront in a battle over what some technology analysts see as the future of computing. However, the smart speakers market is just getting warmed up.

In fact, those expecting the HomePod to be an Apple version of Amazon Echo or Google Home may find something completely different.


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