Apple will release its $349 HomePod speaker on February 9th

The $349 speaker will start shipping to customers on February 9, Apple said on Tuesday in a statement.

Apple is hoping to differentiate HomePod - and justify the speaker's price - by touting it as a premium, high-quality speaker.

Staying on the music tip, the HomePod will take things a bit further than Alexa or Google Assistant with its musical knowledge. It comes with Siri installed, and users interact with Apple's smart speaker by talking to it.

Sonos, Google, LG and Sony have also all launched intelligent music makers in recent months with the smart speaker market growing rapidly in 2017.

Apple is finally shipping the HomePod. However, Apple says that multi-room support will be coming in a software update later this year. The HomePod was also just cleared by the FCC, meaning Apple is free to begin offering the device in the USA at any time of its choosing.

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)
After $1.07 actual EPS reported by The Walt Disney Company for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts 48.60% EPS growth. Annex Advisory Services Llc sold 6,900 shares as the company's stock declined 2.31% while stock markets rallied.

"HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple".

The screenshots provide an insight into what some of these settings could potentially be at launch, including turning on and off HomePod's LED touch interface when it's not in use, pressing the interface to speak to Siri, and changing Siri's sound effects.

"We're so excited for people to get HomePod into their homes, apartments and businesses to hear it for themselves". We think they will be blown away by the audio quality.

HomePod will be available in Apple Stores and at select Apple Authorised Resellers, including Best Buy in the US; Argos, Dixons Carphone (Currys PC World), John Lewis, Shop Direct (Very and Littlewoods), EE and Apple Premium Resellers in the United Kingdom; and The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Myer and Telstra in Australia, beginning Friday, February 9. Apple announced that it will rollout to France and Germany "in the spring".

Apple says the HomePod will be available to buy in store from February 9, which should mean first orders deliver around the same time.

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