Apple announced via a press release on Tuesday that HomePod, its Siri-powered wireless speaker for the connected home, is officially arriving in stores on Friday, February 9, with orders available from this coming Friday, January 26.
The accessory will be available to order in White or Space Gray from Apple.com this Friday, January 26 in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. The speaker is priced at $349 in the United States, £319 in the United Kingdom and $499 in Australia.
HomePod will arrive in France and Germany this spring, Apple has said.
The device will be available in Apple Stores and at select Apple Authorized Resellers, including Best Buy in the US; Argos, Dixons Carphone (Currys PC World), John Lewis, Shop Direct (Very and Littlewoods), EE and Apple Premium Resellers in the UK; and The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Myer and Telstra in Australia.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, said:
HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple. 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, beautiful design that is so much fun to use.
We’re so excited for people to get HomePod into their homes, apartments and businesses to hear it for themselves. We think they will be blown away by the audio quality. The team has worked to give Siri a deeper knowledge of music so that you can ask to play virtually anything from your personal favorites to the latest chart-topping releases, simply by saying ‘Hey Siri.’
Based on Siri, which has developed a deep knowledge of music and understands your preferences and tastes, HomePod lets you send a message, set a timer, play a podcast, check the news, sports, traffic and weather and control a wide range of HomeKit smart home accessories juts by using your voice.
HomePod is designed to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to hundreds of genres, moods and activities. It also learns preferences and tastes that are shared across devices.
Using Siri to deliver deep knowledge of artists, songs, albums and more, HomePod can handle advanced searches within Apple Music’s catalog, so users can ask questions like, ‘Hey Siri, when was this song released?’ or ‘Hey Siri, can you play something totally different?’ to change the mood.
Apple Music subscribers can enjoy a catalog of more than 45 million songs, combined with their entire iTunes library, for online or offline listening—completely ad-free.
For hands-free conversations, users will be able to start or receive a call on their iPhone and hand it off to their HomePod, which then uses the phone as a speakerphone for crisp and clear audio quality. And t SiriKit, HomePod supports third-party messaging apps so users can ask Siri to send a message to a friend or colleague using apps like WhatsApp.
Multi-room audio and stereo is coming to HomePod this year in a free software update.
HomePod is compatible with all iPhones from iPhone 5s onward, and works with other iOS devices like iPad Pro, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later or the sixth-generation iPod touch with iOS 11.2.5 or later.
Apple also said that Siri is now “actively used” on over half a billion devices.
Do you plan on purchasing a HomePod when it arrives?
Let us know in the comments section!