Apple’s amazing HomePod is about to launch in Japan

Chance Miller for 9to5Mac:

HomePod will launch in Japan in the coming weeks for 32,800 yen.

Apple’s smart speaker is set to gain new features with iOS 13 later this year. The update will bring Handoff support for HomePod, allowing you to automatically switch playback from your iPhone to HomePod. iOS 13 also includes an updated HomePod setup process. Siri is also adding support to play 100,000 radio stations on iPhone and HomePod.

  • First expected in Japan in 2018 but didn’t happen.
  • No exact launch date given.
  • Order page is now live.
  • Apple is teasing a ‘summer release’.
  • White and Space Gray.
  • 32,800 yen, c. $300.
  • Apple cut HomePod prices worldwide back in April, from $349 to $299.

MacDailyNews Take: We love our stereo HomePod setup. The sound quality is remarkable, as is the fact that it doesn’t listen to us unless we ask it to. We think people will soon begin to recognize what a great product it is.

7 Comments

  1. What’s so amazing about it? It’s been repeatedly called the worst-selling and the least intelligent smart speaker on the market. It’s really discouraging how Apple can’t do better than theoretically less-capable competitors. I don’t own (or plan to own) any smart speaker so I don’t personally know if the HomePod is really such an incapable product. I’ve only heard the negative internet chatter about the HomePod being at the bottom of the heap and it’s quite shameful for Apple, if true. However, it’s important that a smart speaker listen to everything that’s being said to be the most useful device. I don’t have a need for any listening devices in my home.

    As far as privacy is concerned, most people don’t care if they fill their homes with eavesdropping devices as long as they’re inexpensive to buy. Amazon is selling as many of their listening devices as ever and I would think that even Facebook’s Portal device will eventually outsell Apple’s HomePod as long as Facebook sells it at a low enough price. Apple will never be able to charge consumers a premium for privacy, so they might as well give up on that as a business model.

    1. That’s interesting that you only see the negative reviews. Everything I’ve seen is that the speaker is a true high end speaker, out performing the audio on all other smart speakers handily, including the top end Sonos speakers. Apple needs to figure out Siri . But the homepod scored high with music selection, but that is a small portion of smart queries.

      If you are big into music and have use for a high end speaker Homepod may work for you, but Siri, while improving, can’t match the perceived intelligence when the voice query is bounced off back-end servers and compared to millions of other queries.

    2. The only thing that kills the HomePod is the lack of wired input-outputs, great sound without the capacity to mate to all the existing sound equipment out there. And no over the air doesn’t come close to wired sound not yet.

  2. This commercial reminds me of an old BlackBerry one when they launched (and failed) BB10 devices. Long on special effects and (very) short on the product that is supposed to be promoted. Only an ad agency, togehter with image creators, makes a lot of money with little or no impact on potential consumers. Very Apple-like these days….

  3. It fits quite nicely into the old “Ecosphere.” Amazingly good hearing. I can speak its name in another room in a low voice and I hear it say, “Uh huh?” from the outer room.

    Works great with HomeKit. Telling it to turn things off and on. Works REALLY great with Apple Music.

    Sound quality is as described. Excellent.

    Attractive styling.

    Fun to watch people say, “Where is that music coming from?”

    I love saying, “Hey Siri, play Minimalist.”

    1. I still have the much maligned by tech geeks, and the tech press at the time, (Apple Hi-Fi) still works and sounds very good to this day, if some of the sound engineer’s are the same the HomePod, sound wise is very good and will last a long time (a decade) which is why the lack of wired input-outputs drives me up the wall.

Add Your Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.