THE APPLE HOMEPOD, the firm’s Siri-powered smart speaker that has its sights set on the Amazon Echo, is now available to pre-order in Blighty.
While many were expecting Apple to launch pre-orders at 8am, as it usually does, the HomePod wasn’t available to order until live until 1.30pm in the UK, which likely hasn’t gone down well with those who got up early to bag themselves one.
Still, at the time of writing, it doesn’t appear that the HomePod has sold out, and both Space Grey and White models can be ordered for £319 before they start shipping on 9 February.
EE told us that it would also kick off pre-orders at 1.30pm, but the device isn’t yet available to order at the operator’s website.
The bin-like speaker was originally set to ship in time for Christmas, but Apple was forced to push back the release date, saying it “needs a little more time before it’s ready for our customers.”
First announced at WWDC last year, the HomePod is Apple’s first stab at the Amazon and Google-dominated smart speaker market. Like its competitors, the speaker is controlled by Apple’s AI assistant – Siri – which can do things such as read out the news and send iMessages and also act as a “musICOlogist” that will help you discover new music.
The device itself measures 7in tall, and Apple has defended its bin-like design by talking up its “seamless 3D mesh fabric” as having acoustic properties.
Inside you’ll find Apple’s A8 processor, which the company claims is “the biggest brain inside of a speaker”. This sits alongside a 4in Apple-built subwoofer and a seven tweeter array with precision acoustic horns and directional control.
The speaker also features “spatial awareness,” which allows it to automatically tune the sound to the space that the speaker is in, along with a six-microphone array.
Apple’s HomePod will come in White and Space Grey, and thanks to its built-in HomeKit support, it’ll allow you to control smart appliances around your home, even by using your iPhone from another location. µ
Source : Inquirer