Apple Announces Release Date for HomePod

Apple Home Pod price

Apple, though, is highlighting the HomePod's sound quality - not its smart-home capabilities - in pitching the $349 device to customers.

Past year at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company revealed that there are more than 375 million Siri-enable devices actively being used right now.

The $349 HomePod will arrive at Apple stores starting February 9 in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. It is available in two colours: space grey and white.

Apple is going to sell the HomePod for $349 in the United States of America, which means we can probably expect a £349 price tag in the UK - although that's not confirmed.

The HomePod is coming in at a tricky time for Apple.

Apple expects the HomePod to compete with other smart speaker products like the Google Home and Amazon Echo. It is worth mentioning that Apple is reportedly working on the next-gen HomePod speaker as well. This reminds us of Siri's launch on the iPhone 4s back in 2011, when the voice assistant was English-only, but did work in Canada. Its hockey puck-sized Echo Dot is estimated to account for more than half of Amazon's speaker unit sales, largely because of its lower price, which dropped to $30 during the holidays before rising to $50. It features AirPlay 2 compatibility, allowing multi-speaker audio streaming, and Siri thanks to its Apple A8 Chip. Apple is now detailing a few additional features that will be available. On the audio technology side, HomePod has High-excursion woofer with custom amplifier, an array of seven horn-loaded tweeters, each of which comes with their own custom amplifier, and a six-microphone array for far-field Siri.

The Sun spoke to GBH Insights' Daniel Ives, who helped explain the missed launch: "We believe technical and production hiccups are the reason for the delay, as Apple needed to iron out the issues before HomePod hit the market". In addition, the speaker was claimed to be able to sense the size of the room it is in, and through spatial awareness adjust audio to suit the environment. To setup the HomePod a user will simply have to hold an iPhone next to the speaker and it will connect automatically and start playing music.

By calling upon Siri, users can ask the HomePod to perform a variety of tasks including; "set a timer, play a podcast, check the news, sports, traffic, and weather, and even control a wide range of HomeKitsmart home accessories".

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