Apple has announced their HomePod will finally be available for pre-order from Friday and will be in stores on February 9. Their much-awaited smart speaker was initially set to be released in December, and we will finally get to experience the speaker for ourselves next month.
This announcement comes after Apple’s HomePod received FCC approval, a requirement for any wireless device. All communication technologies such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are required to be submitted to the United States Federal Communications Commission and have to wait for approval before they can be sold in the United States. The HomePod will be sold in the US, UK and Australia initially and will be sold in France and Germany “in the spring”.
Apple will finally be able to compete with the likes of Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, however, the tech giant is promoting their device as a speaker primarily and an assistant second. The speaker will be able to tell you the weather, tell you what the traffic is like, send messages and allow you to make lists, but more impressively it will be able to adapt to its surroundings. Apple claims this speaker will be able to analyze any room and adjust the sound accordingly. The speaker will also be able to hear you over the music no matter how loud it is and how far away you are. You will be able to pair two HomePods for the ultimate sound experience, although this feature might not be available in the initial launch.
The question is, will this speaker, with its higher price tag of $349, be able to compete with the other smart speaker on the market? Is Apple simply too late to the party?