Apple to release HomePod speaker in three markets on Feb 9

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With the HomePod hitting the stores next month, it will soon enter the battle against Google and Amazon smart speakers.

The speaker will be available in the US, the United Kingdom and Australia before going live in France and Germany in the spring.

The HomePod will be avilable through both apple.com and retail locations on February 9.

AppleA promotional image for the Apple HomePod. The HomePod is also capable of controlling other devices and appliances that have been equipped with Apple's HomeKit.

HomePod's price tag may also deter some customers: It costs $349, compared to $180 for Amazon Echo and $129 for Google Home.

Apple Home Pod officialy arrives on Feb 9 preorders start by Friday
Apple HomePod available to order Friday, arrives February 9

Even providing new features that may not have been seen with previous smart-speakers, the concept basically remains the same, but with a much higher price than Google Home Mini, which was discounted for as low as 50$ this past holiday season.

Concerning news and current affairs, Apple has linked Siri to a suite of local outlets, including; ABC NEWS, SBS News, SEVEN NEWS and FOX SPORTS News.

The Apple wireless speaker has advanced audio technologies and delivers a unique listening experience from wherever it is placed and plays any genre of music. "It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalog and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, attractive design that is so much fun to use", said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing in a press statement announcing the official release of the product. For developers interested in adding SiriKit support, more information is available at developer.apple.com/sirikit. The Apple HomePod has a cylindric shape and it weighs 2 kg and a half.

The device claims to utilise spatial awareness, and by determining its place in the room adjusts its audio for the best sound. The speaker will also be able to hear you over the music no matter how loud it is and how far away you are.

HomePod can be used as a speakerphone, routing calls through a paired iPhone nearby. The smart speakers from Google and Amazon let users give voice commands to play Spotify but Apple Music does not work on the rival devices. "It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer, and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalogue and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, lovely design that is so much fun to use", said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.


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