Good news today for all those that are waiting for the Apple’s HomePod smart speaker to go on sale, as it is now available to preorder for $349 directly from the Apple Store. The device is scheduled to ship on February 9th.
There has been a delay in the anticipated shipping date, which usually means the company in question is getting all functionality in order, but in this case, the Apple HomePod will ship without a couple of important features. Right out of the box you won't have AirPlay 2, which allows you to pair more than one speaker together and also perform multiroom audio. Bit of a blow to the guys who wanted the full stereo experience.
Apple says those features will be available later this year via a "free software update.” The HomePod boasts being powered by Apple’s A8 chip, built in Siri (the whole point of an Intelligent home speaker), six microphones, and HomeKit support to control your compatible smart home devices. There is also another feature, the ability to automatically optimize sound for a given room, that Google Home and most of Amazon Alexa rival products can't do.
Apple being Apple have slapped a reasonable hefty $349 price tag on this speaker, and we mean ONE speaker - don't start dreaming of a pair, like you can do with some of the competition. The American company feels that they are still offering good value for money as they believe the sound quality surpasses that of the competition - I'm sure Sonos has a thing or two to say about that.
You can preorder the Homepod now in the US, UK, and Australia, with color options of black or white. Other markets will have to play the waiting game.