Apple Finally Launches Its HomePod, Pre-Order As Soon As Friday
00:50, Jan 25, 2018
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The Siri-powered speaker will be available in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Australia starting February 9, with pre-orders going live from January 26. Apple HomePod will be made available for pre-orders starting from January 26, and it will be officially available to purchase starting from February 9.
The device was originally supposed to go on sale previous year and was ultimately delayed, but Apple has finally confirmed that the HomePodrelease date is just around the corner. The digital assistant can tell people what's going on in the news, control their HomeKit smart home devices, send a message through third-party apps like WhatsApp, serve as a speakerphone during calls, and set reminders. The high price point could wind up scaring many would-be buyers away as well, and analysts are already speculating if Apple will quickly introduce a smaller, cheaper version afterwards - just like Amazon did with the Echo Dot and Google did with the Google Home Mini. The major difference here however is that Apple'ssmart speaker will be powered by Siri, the same digital assistant that's now available on iOS devices and macOS computers. Apple could only watch as Amazon got an over three-year head start with the Echo - while Google's Home is 14 months old - and it now has some catching up to do. Apple customers in France and Germany will be next in line for HomePod, sometime "this spring", according to the company. Even with Apple not reporting its smartwatch sales, these figures represent around 119 million new devices with Siri on them.
The HomePod will be available in white or space grey.
The Apple wireless speaker has advanced audio technologies and delivers a unique listening experience from wherever it is placed and plays any genre of music.
Apple is counting on HomePod to boost subscriptions to Apple Music and block the rise of rival Spotify.
Apple had originally planned to release the device shortly before last Christmas. They also offer greater functionality; Amazon's Alexa, for example, can perform thousands of commands compared with hundreds by Siri. Expect HomePod to be priced near $500 CAD or so when it launches in Canada, hopefully sometime in 2018 if we're lucky. Wider home automation through lighting, thermostats and other products will furthermore be possible using Apple HomeKit - although the list now falls short of competing with the vast number of integrations available through Alexa and Google Assistant.
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