Apple HomePod was showcased first in June 2017 at the company's tech show—World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017— and was slated to hit the stores during the Christmas holiday season, but it never materialised.
Now, Apple has finally confirmed to release the flagship HomePod smart speaker on February 9 in select markets including the US, the UK and Australia. Apple HomePod costs $349 (approx. €283/Rs.22, 238) and comes in white and space grey colours.
Interested consumers can pre-book the flagship smart speaker online from January 26. The company intends to expand the HomePod availability in Germany and France this spring.
As of now, there is no word on when Apple HomePod will come to Indian market, but it is expected to be announced in coming months. Stay tuned.
For those unaware, Apple HomePod is 7.0-inch tall and boasts a visually appealing design language with curvaceous 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.
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.