Apple on Friday began accepting preorders for its long delayed HomePod accessory. The company’s first-ever Siri-enabled smart speaker device will officially begin shipping to early buyers on Friday, February 9, the company says.
Though it’s firmly positioned as a high-end audio device, Apple’s HomePod falls into the same category as — and seeks to directly compete with — similar smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
However, the HomePod’s advanced features — seven-channel/subwoofer-assisted speaker array flaunting audiophile-grade real-time acoustic modeling, beam-forming, and multi-channel echo cancelation — make Apple’s speaker a clear cut above the rest.
It’s also powered by the same A8 SoC which drives Apple’s iPhone 6 devices, which opens the door to HomePod’s other Apple-centric capabilities, including its full integration with Siri, as well as quick connectivity with Apple devices and services including iPhone, Apple Music, AirPlay, HomeKit and more.
Where Will HomePod Be Available?
When it launches on February 9, HomePod will be available to customers in Australia, U.K., and here in the U.S. — where it’s also being sold at Best Buy locations nationwide.
HomePod is also available to pre-order via Apple’s website, directly, as of Friday, January 26 at 5:30 am.
How Much Will It Cost?
As we’ve known from the get-go, HomePod will be available in either Space Gray or White color options for $349.
Of course, while similar smart speaker offerings like the Amazon Echo and Google Home exist for a fraction of the price, it’s obvious that Apple has, through-and-through, positioned HomePod as a luxury, high-end device. For the price, it may or may not appeal to anyone other than Apple’s more devoted customer base.
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