Apple HomePod Release Date, Price Revealed: Pre-Orders Start This Week

Today, though, Apple announced that the highly anticipated speaker will hit shelves on February 9. Pre-orders will open on Friday, January 26 in the US, UK and Australia.

Revealed at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2017, the HomePod smart speaker is keeping fans waiting.

The device was originally supposed to go on sale past year and was ultimately delayed, but Apple has finally confirmed that the HomePod release date is just around the corner.

Apple may have a hard time getting people to fork out for the HomePod when they could get several Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speakers for the same amount of money. The Siri waveform will appear on top of the HomePod speaker when the user engages with the voice assistant appears and it also comes with integrated touch controls. The tech behemoth has already missed the busy holiday rush when Amazon's Echo and Google's Home lineup did brisk business.

Apple has tried to differentiate its speaker by emphasizing sound quality, particularly when playing music, over the device's ability to perform tasks. Unofficially, that is roughly £247 in the United Kingdom and €282 in the eurozone, but Apple ultimately prices its devices according to each market.

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Apple's HomePod is being pitched not just as a smart speaker, but also a high-end audio device for customers.

Sound Quality: HomePod features a large, Apple-designed woofer for deep, clean bass, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with directional control, and powerful technologies that preserve the richness and intent of original recordings. It is available in two colours: space grey and white. A "wake word" activates the system, which relies on the Internet to process commands and properly assist the order.

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

The HomePod supports Apple's Music streaming service and a user's iTunes library, but support for market-leader Spotify or other competing music services remains in doubt. The speaker also will be able to send messages and receive updates from the BBC, Sky News, and LBC, said Apple.


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