Have you been patiently waiting to get hold of a speaker that you can talk to and ask questions? Good news: Apple's HomePod smart speaker will be released in Australia first.
Alongside the US and UK, Australia will be one of the first markets around the world to get the HomePod in Apple Stores, both in space grey and white colours. We'll have to wait until December like everywhere else, but it's reassuring to know at least that we won't be left waiting without any release date whatsoever as we have with the Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
Sitting around 18 centimetres tall, the HomePod integrates one of Apple's A8 chips with an eight-speaker array — one upward-firing woofer and seven tweeters, alongside six directional microphones to pick up your voice anywhere around a room and send it off to Siri. Whenever Siri is engaged, the HomePod will display the Siri waveform on the top of the speaker, the same location where the HomePod's touch-sensitive controls are.
The HomePod's $US349 retail price translates directly into $466 over here, but expect a slight price premium once you figure in GST and import costs and all the other extra fees we normally pay in Australia. If the HomePod is $499 here, or at least less than $549, that'll be about right with my expectations. [Apple]