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Apple announces launch date of HomePod smart speaker after delay

Apple announces launch date of HomePod smart speaker after delay

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

Apple claims HomePod's main selling point is superior audio quality; at the WWDC, Apple called the HomePod a smart "musicologist" at home and said it is competing with Sonos' high-end audio speakers rather than the Amazon Echo. The company intends to expand the HomePod availability in Germany and France this spring.

Apple has also announced that an upcoming free software update will enable users to play music throughout a house via multiroom audio.

It's also the only smart speaker that features compatibility with Apple Music which is sure to make it hugely popular with the millions of subscribers to this service.

Apple's HomePod was unveiled previous year and is widely seen as Siri's answer to Amazon's Alexa, although Apple has emphasized the high-fidelity music capabilities of the speaker.

The HomePod will cost $349 in the U.S. and it can be bought from Apple Stores and at select Apple Authorized Resellers, including Best Buy in the US.

Setup is said to be as easy as AirPods with a pop-up on your iPhone and the features Apple talk about are all to do with Music, Sound quality and controlling things through Apple HomeKit.

Now, Apple has finally confirmed to release the flagship HomePod smart speaker on February 9 in select markets including the USA, the United Kingdom and Australia. With Siri News, you'll be able to say " Hey Siri, play the news" and the digital assistant will immediately read the news. Apple claims HomePod and Siri can handle complicated queries, like "Hey Siri, when was this song released?" or "Hey Siri, who's the drummer in this?"

"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", Schiller said. Like the Cortana powered Harman Kardon Invoke, there's a display on the top of it where Siri's animations are displayed.

The HomePod stands 18 centimetres tall, and incorporates Apple's A8 chip to deliver a "wide spacious soundstage". But the HomePod won't ship with multi-room audio functionality, or the ability to pair two speakers for stereo sound.

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