Apple's AppleCare+ extended warranty and accidental damage repair program for the HomePod retails for $39, with a single out-of-warranty repair like accidental damage from a drop otherwise costing the user $279 uncovered, and $39 when under the program.
This week on the AppleInsider podcast, Victor and Neil talk about HomePod, rumored iPhones and Bryan Fuller's inability to stay on a show. In addition, Michal Jurewicz joins to talk about audio digital signal processing.
Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple all have voice assistants vying for attention, and all are moving the concept of computer-human voice interaction forward. AppleInsider offers an abbreviated history of how we got here and the capabilities of these assistants and their devices in anticipation of HomePod. What do these things do? What do people use them for? And what is Apple doing differently?
HomePod is now on sale at Apple retail locations in Australia, New Zealand and other areas where the clock turned Friday, and customers who recently took receipt of the new smart speaker are posting photos of the device to social media outlets.
Apple's online store is showing constrained HomePod supply in the U.S. after early reviews of the device went live on Tuesday, with orders placed today estimated for delivery by Feb. 12 at the earliest.
People buying a HomePod will have to rely on the speaker's own automatic EQ adjustments, as there are no manual controls, Apple's senior VP of Internet Software and Services said at today's Pollstar Live conference for the concert industry.
As a home audio device, Apple's HomePod is a hit with critics, who have lauded the $349 accessory's superior sound quality. But the standalone speaker has not addressed the shortcomings of Siri, an area where HomePod lagged behind the capabilities of competitors Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Apple is criticized for making much of its revenues from one hit product: iPhone. However, its newest foray into Wearables has not only become its fastest-growing revenue source behind iPhone, but is also larger and growing more rapidly than other top tech firms' hyped future growth segments, such as Amazon's ads business, Google's Cloud and Alphabet's Other Bets.
While the $399 Google Home Max and the $349 Apple HomePod are roughly aiming for the same market, both have taken very different approaches. AppleInsider compares the hardware, and delves into which speaker might work the best for you.
After a teaser suggested new voice options could be coming to Alexa, the release of Amazon's full Super Bowl spot reveals it was all just a joke, setting up a primetime ad where celebrities substitute in for Alexa — and poorly.
The HomePod stands to be an audiophile's ideal speaker when it ships on Feb. 9, in no small part due to the considerable effort Apple has put into audio processing for the device. Audio expert Matt Hines of iZotope explains some of the technical hurdles Apple and other smart speaker producers have to overcome to provide a high-quality audio experience in a wide variety of environments.
Apple on Friday morning began accepting preorders for HomePod, the company's entrance into the smart speaker space with audiophile-focused premium sound. The $349 accessory will ship to users in two weeks, on Feb. 9.
Apple's HomePod is shaping up to be a hot commodity for early adopters, but the premium speaker is priced well above competing products from Amazon and Google. If you want to score one on launch day, but lack the cheddar, you might want to consider Apple's financing options.
It's a mystery how high demand for Apple's HomePod will be, and it's also unknown how many units the company will produce for launch. Because of those unknowns, you'd better be ready come Friday — and early.