Apple’s first foray into the world of voice-operated interactive speaker assistants will hit several more markets during mid-June. The HomePod, which is Apple’s competitive answer to Amazon’s Echo devices and Google Home speakers, will soon make its way into Canada, France, and Germany. The speaker first arrived in February in the United States, so it’s no surprise that other markets will now get to add the high-end device to their homes or other environments.
A report from TechCrunch on Tuesday indicated that the Homepod will be available in those areas on June 18. In conjunction with the news, a new update for the Homepod was made which gave support for three additional languages: Canadian English, French, and German. There are plans to add Canadian French as a supported language at some point later this year.
The new iOS 11.4 update that arrived on Tuesday gave several other new features to the HomePod speakers. Those included stereo pairing and support for “multi-room AirPlay 2” streaming abilities. HomePod owners reportedly need to perform an iPhone update under the “Settings,” “General,” and “Software Update” area of their mobile devices to get the new HomePod features working.
The Apple HomePod speakers currently cost $349 each in the United States, but there haven’t been any reports regarding what they will cost in the new markets this June. The price of the speaker has been among the early stumbling blocks for Apple as they try to compete with Amazon and Google products. In addition, it’s been said that the functionality of Siri on the speaker has been lacking, whereas the Echo and Home speakers seem to better integrate their voice assistants. However, the sound quality has been praised and the recent updates seem to take that music experience to another level for home entertainment.
The generally mixed feedback about the Apple HomePod has also come with a mystery regarding how good (or bad) sales of the speakers have been. However, it seems imperative for Apple to begin introducing their devices into as many markets as possible so they won’t become completely overrun by Amazon and Google taking over the markets. With the brand new territories announced for the HomePod, it will give Apple about “half a dozen” countries where their high-end device is available.