Apple HomePod: Release date, price, specs, features

Apple’s HomePod (originally rumored to be called Siri Speaker) is a smart speaker with Wi-Fi capabilities intended to compete against Amazon Echo devices and Google Home—although it’s more expensive. Revealed during Apple’s 2017 WWDC keynote, Apple’s senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller boasted about HomePod’s audio quality, its built-in room sensors, and the integration with Apple Music.

With its always-on voice assistant and ability to control connected devices, HomePod is very similar to Echo devices and Google Home, but with a few notable differences. Here are the must-know HomePod features, specs, and sales for the HomePod.

homepod white shelf Apple

Editor’s note: Updated on 4/14/20 with speculation about Apple’s 2020 updates for the HomePod.

The latest: A smaller HomePod with support for more music services in 2020

According to a Bloomberg April report, Apple could possibly release a smaller version of the HomePod later in 2020. The new HomePod look similar to the current version, but it will be about half the size. The price is expected to be lower than the current $299 in order to better compete with smart speakers from Amazon and Google.

Bloomberg also reported that Apple will update HomePod so that it has support for addition music services. And Apple has recently acquired artificial intelligence startups in an effort to improve Siri.

HomePod: The Macworld review

Read our full review of the Apple HomePod. Summary: HomePod is a delayed product that somehow still feels rushed to market. It sounds great, but it is held back by Siri’s numerous problems and a lock-in policy that is heavy-handed even for Apple.

When is HomePod available?

You can buy the HomePod now at any Apple store, or you can order it online from Apple.

Keep an eye out for sales at BestBuy, Amazon, and other retailers. They sometimes put the HomePod on sale for as low as $249. 

After a slight delay from its original December 2017 ship date, Apple announced that HomePod will be available for sale starting February 9, 2018, initially in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia.

How much will it cost?

When HomePod was released, it was priced at $349. Apple lowered the price and it’s currently at $299 and is available in two colors: white and space grey. By comparison, Amazon’s high-end Echo Studio sells for $199.99 and Google Home Max sells for $299.

What iOS devices is HomePod compatible with?

  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6s or later
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad (5th generation or later)
  • iPad Air 2 or later with the latest iPadOS
  • iPad mini 4 or later with the latest iPadOS
  • iPod touch (7th generation) with the latest iOS

Is HomePod just as smart and easy to set up as AirPods?

HomePod comes with an A8 Fusion chip, the same one that powers the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. That definitely puts it up at the top when it comes to “smart” speakers.

Like AirPods (which sport an A1 chip), setting up HomePod is just as easy and intuitive. All you have to do is hold your iPhone next…

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