Apple HomePod Release Date Expected Soon As Initial Units Start Shipping

iOS latest update: Now, listen to news without unlocking your iPhone

Siri's news bulletin feature goes live in the UK and Australia

Apple suppliers have begun shipping the first HomePod units ahead of the smart speaker's much-anticipated launch. Inventec and Foxconn will share production of the 10 million to 12 million HomePods that Apple reportedly will order throughout 2018, the source added.

Even though one million HomePod speakers may seem like a small number for company like Apple, this is merely part of the initial shipments.

HomePod is Apple's Siri voice controlled smart speaker that was first shown off in June 2017 at the company's Worldwide Developer Conference. In November, Apple announced a delay until "early 2018".

"We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers". So far the United Kingdom and Australia are confirmed, but there could be other countries the feature is also live in.

Apple was forced to delay the HomePod in December after discovering that the device's software required some tweaks to how it interacted with the hardware, the Taipei Times is reporting, citing an "industry source" who claims to have knowledge of the decision.

Following the disasterous release of an early HomePod beta in late July, which wound up revealing details about the then-unannounced iPhone X, Apple released a new and less revealing HomePod beta in mid-December.

This new feature also raises interesting questions about which news service should be offered up as the default.

At $349, the HomePod will quickly become one of the most expensive smart speakers on the market. Apple already missed the opportunity to release the HomePod during the holidays and the company will have the hard task of catching up with its competitors.

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