The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved the sale of Apple’s HomePod smart speakers.
It means that the Siri-powered speaker, which reportedly costs $349, would be out on the market anytime now.
Apple was supposed to launch the HomePod last year but decided to postpone it, pushing it back to early this year, as the company “needed a little more time” to make the device ready for customers, a Mashable report said.
Mashable said Apple revealed that shipment of the product to the U.S., UK, and Australia would start “in early 2018.”
The site also said that while the FCC approval “doesn’t reveal anything new about HomePod, we know we’re in the home stretch before release.”
One million units already manufactured
Mashable said, via a Taipei Times report, that Inventec, one of the two suppliers of the HomePod, already made a million units of the smart speaker.
Inventec and Foxconn, the other HomePod maker, are reportedly expecting to ship a total of 10 to 12 million units by the year-end.
Apple’s HomePod, however, would meet stiff competition from Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. The smart speaker market had long been dominated by Amazon and Google.
Mashable said HomePod’s success would depend on several factors, including price (it costs way more than an Echo Dot or Google Home Mini and $100 more than an Echo, Echo Plus or Google Home).
Also, while the HomePod produces good sound, comparable to the Google Home Max, the site said: “Will people be willing to pay for it? An Echo or Home provides good-enough sound.”
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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