CNET News Video
Apple HomePod arrives Feb. 9 -- without multi-room or stereo functionThe smart speaker gets a release date after initial delays. Preorders begin Friday, but the HomePod won't come with every feature at launch.
The Homepod has a launch date. Apple originally promised the Siri powered smart speaker would arrive in December but it's been delayed and now will land on February 9th in th US, UK, and Australia. Preorders begin this Friday, January 26th, and it goes for $349. Price like that, you need to take a moment to breathe it in. Even with Apple taking extra time to work out the kinks, not every feature is coming at launch. It will not ship with multi room audio and stereo support. So if you plan on buying more than one speaker, it won't work between rooms until later this year whenever Apple pushes out the software update. Now Apple's got an interesting challenge. First of all, it is way late to the speaker assistant game with multiple Amazon Echo and Google assistant products Having a long head start. Not to mention they cost less. The home pot was also not at CES a few weeks ago. Amazon and Google speakers and assistance practically dominated the tech ratio integrated with so many various smart home products. Even showers and toilets. So, where does the homepad fit in? Apple say this is for people who care about a high quality music listening experience. And it works with Siri, it let you send text messages with voice commands. So of course that's a perk if you own an Apple products. Apple also has a privacy advantage for consumers that care more about encryption. And it's a valid concern when you have devices always listening to you in your home. Are you planning on pre-ordering the home pod right away? Sound off in the comments. I'm Bridget Carey and CNET, we're happy to deliver the latest tech news to you everyday on any speaker you own.