Apple's HomePod smartphone now has a launch date, but it will not be available in all regions at once. Currently, it will debut on February 9 in the United States, the UK and Australia, and other regions will receive boxing in stores this spring. Of course, priority regions will be those with native support for Siri, but not all promised features will be available at launch
The orders for HomePod start on January 26, the price is set at $ 349, a not too expensive price given the price of other premium smart speakers on the market. Unfortunately, the functionality promised last summer will be initially limited. The AirPlay 2 feature that provides content playback on multiple home devices will not be available at launch or the ability to connect two HomePod speakers for stereo playback. These will be added later by a software update that is likely to roll out simultaneously with the release of iOS 11.3
Siri Virtual Assistance will be available in limited form on the HomePod, which can interact with a smaller number of applications, most of Apple's portfolio. Of course, its capabilities will be extended over time by software upgrades, but it is unclear whether it will work with competing apps such as Spotify or Google Music
It seems that the launch of HomePod will be more dedicated to testing the market and gathering user feedback, evolving over time. Considering that it will be the only Siri-compliant market in this category with no headaches in the iOS / macOS / tvOS ecosystem, Apple fans looking for alternatives from Google or Amazon now have a much simpler option.