HomePod Launch Imminent as Supplier Completes Initial Shipment of One Million Units

HomePod was previously scheduled to hit the markets before the end of previous year, but Apple in November issued a statement saying that it needed more time before the product is ready for customers.

"The Taiwanese company has begun HomePod shipments".

The Apple HomePod made its first official appearance at previous year during WWDC 2017 in June.

As 9to5Mac pointed out, "the feature was clearly designed for the HomePod", expected to ship this spring, after a delay caused it to miss the all-important holiday season.

It's important to realize that Apple may refine this feature over the coming weeks in the lead up to the HomePod's release.

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At $349, the HomePod will quickly become one of the most expensive smart speakers on the market.

Update: The feature is also rolling out in Australia, with ABC, SBS, and Seven Network as sources.

According to the report, the HomePod's delay is attributable to "fine-tuning of software and hardware integration", a presumably critical final step for a speaker featuring Apple's Siri as its voice-controlled AI assistant. Triggering it through a non-visual interface like AirPods, on the other hand, will bring of a podcast news briefing - similar to the sort of flash briefings now available on Google Home and Amazon Echo. Apple still hasn't given an exact release date yet and consumers are stuck with the "early 2018" placeholder. It is interesting that Apple is now adding some Alexa-style capabilities to Siri in anticipation of the company's release of its HomePod smart speaker. Like iPhones and iPads, the HomePod runs a customized version of Apple's iOS operating system that must be pre-installed in a usably complete form prior to leaving the factory. That means Apple's high-end speaker should offer numerous capabilities that make devices like the Amazon Echo incredibly popular.

That could be Apple's way of warning us that HomePod won't be quite as smart as its rivals.

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