Apple HomePod Launch Imminent

Apple HomePod Launch Imminent
Apple's HomePod smart speaker is in production and will be ready for a February launch, a report says.

(CCM) — Apple is almost ready to open the supply floodgates and launch its HomePod smart speaker into the market in February, according to a Taiwan News report.

The much-delayed HomePod is to be manufactured by two Taiwanese companies, Inventec and Foxconn Technology, and the former has announced that it has started production and will release its first shipment next month, the report says. It includes a high-excursion woofer, a six microphone array to detect voice commands, and a seven tweeter array for high frequency sound reproduction.

The Siri-powered HomePod was originally intended to go on sale in December 2017 in time for the holiday period, but in November 2017 the company announced that it needed "a little more time" before the HomePod would be ready for launch.

Inventec added that it expects sales to reach 10 million units. By contrast, Amazon is believed to have sold at least 20 million Echo devices so far, and possibly substantially more. Since the announcement of the HomePod, Amazon has brought out a new version of its Echo connected speaker and cut its price to $99.

The HomePod is expected to be launched with a $349 price tag.

Image: © Apple