Apple’s HomePod will be available in Australia from 9 February
Apple's Echo and Google Home competitor available to pre-order from 27 February.
It's been a while since Apple announced its entry into the smart speaker space in the form of the high-end Apple HomePod. Originally slated to arrive before the end of 2017, Apple rather quietly let its release date slip, but if you've been hanging out for some Siri-assisted musical action, your wait is nearly over..
If you're thinking that the Apple HomePod might be some return to form for the iPod line, you're dead wrong. It's Apple's entry into the smart speaker space, but where competitors have largely concentrated on smart integrations with external services, Apple's instead pitching it as a combination high-end speaker to take on the likes of Sonos that also has HomeKit and Siri support baked in.
Apple has announced that HomePod will go on pre-order from this Saturday, 27 January 2018 in Australia, the US and the UK through the Apple Store. Actual HomePod units will ship to customers on 9 February 2018, at which point they will also be available to buy from The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Myer and Telstra.
In Australia, the HomePod will cost $499, which puts it well above the asking price of voice-activated competitors such as the Google Home, Google Home Mini or Amazon's Echo speakers. However, the timing of Amazon's Australian Echo launch means that it will go head-to-head with the HomePod given its expected early February shipping date.
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