Back in May, it was rumored that Apple was planning on launching its first smart speaker, the HomePod, in Canada, France, and Germany before the end of June.
Earlier today, Apple officially released the iOS 11.4 update to the masses. With it, the company welcomed new additions like AirPlay 2.
Apple’s first smart speaker, the HomePod, went on sale in the United States earlier this year. And now the company has determined a launch window for additional markets.
Apple will be releasing iOS 11.4 later today along with a software update for the HomePod which will add multi-room and stereo support to the speaker. The update will also mark the release of AirPlay 2.
The HomePod launched earlier this year with a price tag of $349, putting it at a pretty competitive price point to speakers that Apple feels are comparable in sound quality — and not so much due to its baked-in smarts.
The rumors regarding Apple’s first smart speaker haven’t been great, painting a picture that suggests the device isn’t doing so well in the sales department.
Apple seems to be preparing iCloud calendar integration into HomePod with the release of iOS 11.4. Ideally, this feature should have been supported on the HomePod right from day one, but nonetheless, Apple is finally getting around to adding it to its smart speaker.
Apple’s first smart speaker, the HomePod, was first announced late last year, and Apple went out of its way to make sure that potential customers knew what they were getting: A speaker that also has Siri in it. Apple’s focus on the marketing, even after the device’s launch, has been about sound and not so much about anything else. Yes, Siri does get used in at least one ad, but even in that case the HomePod’s sound quality is supposed to be the star of the show.
The HomePod went on sale earlier this year, and for $349 potential owners could have Apple’s first foray into the smart speaker market.
Corroborating a report from Bloomberg from earlier today, a new report from China claims that Apple has reduced its HomePod shipment forecast for the second quarter to 200,000 — down from the 500,000 forecast it had in the first quarter. Additionally, the company is also reducing its HomePod shipment forecast for the entire year.