Apple's much-awaited HomePod smart speaker was rumoured to hit stores during Christmas, but it never materialised. Now, a new report has indicated that the Amazon Alexa Echo-rival will finally see the light of the day soon.
Apple's HomePod which was showcased at the company's tech show — World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017 — has cleared Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
But, what's interesting is that the FCC filing dates way back to September 27. Usually, any phone or tablet or gadgets make official debut within a month of getting approval from government-run telecom authorities. Word on the street is that the Apple wants to make a planned debut, most probably host a separate event around February end or early March.
Apple has already received a little over million units of the HomePod from its supply chain and the former is expected to assemble 10-12 million units for the year, 9to5Mac reported.
Like Apple iPhones, the new HomePod is expected to be made available in key developed markets such as the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and later to other regions.
Apple HomePod: All you need to know
Apple HomePod is 7.0-inch tall and boasts a gorgeous design language with curvy column-like structure with visually appealing textured contours. A lighting display at the top produces waves when Siri is activated.
Since Apple HomePod is a smart speaker, the company has ensured that it delivers top-notch sound quality with deepest and cleanest bass possible, with low distortion. Apple has incorporated aesthetically pleasing upward-facing woofer, paired with the custom A8 chip, that enables bass management through real-time software modelling.
It also boasts seven beam-forming tweeters, each with its own amplifiers to provide a well-balanced smooth tone. HomePod also comes with automatic room-sensing technology to quickly learn its position in a room, whether it's in a corner, on a table or in a bookshelf, and within quick time, is optimised to deliver an immersive music listening experience wherever it is placed.
The company has also included two speakers, which use both direct and reflected audio to deliver audio wirelessly for an even more immersive experience.
Apple, in a bid to make HomePod understand voice-commands in a single attempt, has incorporated a six-microphone array with advanced echo cancellation that enables Siri to recognise people whether they are near the device or standing across the room, even while loud music is playing.
When away from home, users can still remotely access and perform home automation on HomePod through the Home app on iPhone or iPad.
Apple HomePod costs $349 (€310/Rs.22, 259) and comes in white and space grey colours. It is compatible with iPhone 5s and later models, running iOS 11 and will be competing with Google Home and Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo.