The HomePod ($299 at Walmart) is now available for preorder. It's unclear what the demand for the HomePod will be and just how many Apple has made in expectation, so it's a good idea to order before any sort of backorder scenario kicks in. As of early Friday morning, orders are still scheduled for launch day delivery.
Apple's relatively small smart speaker integrates with Siri. It can act as a speakerphone for calls, send messages and answer random questions. It's similar to an Amazon Echo ($100 at Crutchfield) or a Google Home ($69 at Walmart), but it's built by Apple for use with Apple products.
HomePod preorder info
Apple and select retailers are accepting preorders of the HomePod. For example, Best Buy's preorder page is now live. Deliveries will begin on Feb. 9, the same day the HomePod will be available in retail stores.
With Apple positioning the HomePod as a premium speaker that just happens to be smart, the price reflects what one would expect to pay for better sound quality. It's priced at $349, £319 or AU$499.
The HomePod comes in two colors: space gray and white. There is only one size, and storage options aren't something you have to consider.
Website or app?
Ordering from Apple can be done a couple of different ways: The Apple website or the Apple Store app. Ordering through the app takes just a few taps if you have Apple Pay setup. I ordered a HomePod in about 30 seconds once the order button was live. Otherwise, point the browser on your computer to Apple.com/HomePod and click the order button in the top right corner.
Editor's note, Jan. 26: This story was updated at 08:40 a.m. PT to indicate that preorders are now live.