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Apple HomePod not coming to South Africa in launch wave

Apple HomePod not coming to South Africa in launch wave

Apple HomePod not coming to South Africa in launch wave

Apple's new HomePod will arrive in stores from Friday, February 9 and will be available for orders online from January 26, only in the US, UK, and Australia, while France and Germany shall be added to this list from spring.

First announced at WWDC previous year, the HomePod is Apple's first stab at the Amazon and Google-dominated smart speaker market.

Compared with Amazon's Echo and Google Home, Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is noticeably lacking in third-party apps.

Competition in the smart speaker market is set to further intensify, following Apple's announcement that its "HomePod" will land in Australia on February 9th.

Apple is going to sell the HomePod for $349 in the United States of America, which means we can probably expect a £349 price tag in the UK - although that's not confirmed. When I think of all the other things I could spend my money on (like DJI's new Mavic Air drone), an expensive speaker designed by Apple doesn't land high up on my wish list.

Indeed, users will have limited ability to control Siri, according to Business Insider. It works with your Apple Music subscription and promises to deliver stunning audio quality wherever it is placed.

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Market leaders Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. continued to sell Echo and Google Home devices during the holidays, while Apple worked on a rival product it said wasn't ready for sale. In addition, if a customer puts HomePod devices in different rooms, the system can be configured to play different content in each location.

So if you were planning on buying more than one, it won't offer multi-room support until some unspecified later date ...

Apple didn't spend much time focusing on the smart aspects of the speaker when it was announced, but it changed its tune with its announcement today, mentioning its digital assistant Siri 23 times in its press release. HomePod's array of drivers and spatial audio capabilities would make it the smart speaker that replaced the home stereo, justifying that $349 price tag.

The plan was to launch the speaker in December 2017, but announced in November that this would no longer be the case.

HomePod works like other home assistants in that it uses an AI assistant to perform tasks for the user.

Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, said: "This is a critically important device for Apple given the significant head start Amazon and Google have in this area".

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