Apple sets debut for HomePod smart speaker after delay


Rumors have been swirling as of late that Apple is getting ready to release its new Amazon Echo and Google Home rival very soon, and now we have an official launch date for the HomePod.

The company's first smart home speaker, however, was delayed until "early 2018".

Apple, which announced their HomePod smart speaker to great fanfare, wasn't able to get the unit in stores in time for Christmas, digging itself into a deep hole.

Apple products are always pricier than most of the competitors out there.

According to Apple's website: "An Apple-designed A8 chip powers the most complex audio innovations in HomePod".

Apple is arriving late to a market dominated by Amazon's Alexa-powered devices and to a lesser degree Google Home, which includes voice-activated devices that can answer questions and be a smart home hub. The iPhone X launch was delayed a year ago due to supply chain issues and the release of its AirPods wireless headphones was also pushed back in 2016.

Apple has always been facing criticism for delaying the much anticipated HomePod smart speaker. Siri is certainly an important component of the device, but at least for now, its role is being somewhat downplayed. The new feature would allow users to play music on multiple HomePods throughout the house, or use them as stereo speakers.

Another unknown is whether the HomePod will work with music streaming services other than Apple Music.

The device claims to utilise spatial awareness, and by determining its place in the room adjusts its audio for the best sound. HomePod can turn on the lights, raise the shades, set the desired temperature or make other adjustments and serves as the ideal home hub, enabling remote access and automations.

Pre-orders for the smart speaker open this Friday, January 26, and sales commence two weeks later, on February 9.

The smart home speaker will then ship out to customers on Friday, Feb. 9. The difference is that the HomePod will retail for $349 (most recent information).

Apple developers debuted their new home device which features Siri and Apple Music at the WWDC Conference in San Francisco, California.