Following on from the announcement that Amazon will finally be bringing their Alexa voice assistant to Australians, Apple has now detailed plans to launch its own smart speaker locally.
Announced at the company's developer conference last year, the Apple HomePod is a smart speaker in the same vein as the Google Home or Amazon Echo. Powered by Siri and Apple's own A8 processing chip, the sell here is that the HomePod will seamlessly integrate with all your Apple devices, HomeKit-enabled devices and your Apple Music library.
“HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple. It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer, and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalogue and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, beautiful design that is so much fun to use,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
Like the Google Home, it'll also be able to set timers and reminders, check the weather, listen to podcasts and access the latest news from ABC, SBS, Seven and Fox Sports.
“We’re so excited for people to get HomePod into their homes, apartments, and businesses to hear it for themselves. We think they will be blown away by the audio quality. The team has worked to give Siri a deeper knowledge of music so that you can ask to play virtually anything from your personal favourites to the latest chart-topping releases, simply by saying ‘Hey, Siri.’”
Preorders (via Apple) will be available from Saturday the 27th of January, with the speaker available in two colors (White and Space Grey) and priced at an Australian RRP of $499 (incuding GST).
The Apple HomePod will be compatible with iPhone 5s or later, iPad Pro, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, or iPod touch (6th generation) with iOS 11.2.5 or later.
HomePod will be available in Apple Stores and at select Apple Authorised Resellers, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Myer and Telstra in Australia, from the 9th of February.