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At the same time as the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple has opened pre-orders for the HomePod mini, its pint-sized smart speaker, with customers now able to order the $99 smart speaker for delivery starting from November 16.
Like the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max launched today, orders were able to be placed since 5am PT, for customers in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and Spain.
In the case of the HomePod mini, Apple intends for preorders to start arriving starting the week of November 16, a few days later than the being made available at the same time. Availability in China, Mexico, and Taiwan is also anticipated for later in 2020.
Unveiled on October 13, the HomePod Mini is a smaller version of Apple's HomePod smart speaker, one that offers many of the same capabilities but at a smaller size and price point. Rather than $299 for the full-size counterpart, the HomePod mini is $99 (currently discounted to $89.99 for AppleInsider readers).
Measuring 3.3 inches tall and spherical in shape, the HomePod mini is housed in a mesh fabric, in both space gray and white variants. Due to its small size, the device has to use a single full-range dynamic driver and two passive radiators to produce sound, rather than the multi-speaker setup of the HomePod.
Powered by the S5 chip and using complex tuning models for loudness and dynamic range optimization, the speaker also differs in having the U1 chip installed, enabling it to be used for future Ultra-Wideband applications.
While it is primarily meant for Apple Music, the HomePod mini can also be used with various radio stations including iHeartRadio, Radio.com, and TuneIn, with support for Pandora and Amazon Music also inbound before the end of 2020.
While you can set up two HomePod minis as a stereo pair, and use it as part of a multi-room audio setup, it cannot be used as a stereo pair with a HomePod. It is likely due to the mismatch in size and audio quality, among other factors.
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