Apple's HomePod gets FCC approval, hinting at upcoming launch

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2018
Adding to evidence that the HomePod is nearing an official release, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has given its stamp of approval for the device.




The product is identified as model "A1639," and will bear its FCC markings out of sight on the bottom, according to newly-published documents. As a smartspeaker, the HomePod needs to clear the FCC because of its wireless capabilities.

Several documents -- namely guides and photo collections -- are only set to become public on July 17, likely months after the HomePod will be on shelves. A number of other documents, including schematics, will remain confidential indefinitely.

On Wednesday, the Taipei Times claimed that Apple assembly partner Inventec is beginning to roll out the first million HomePods for shipment. Inventec and a fellow assembler, Foxconn, are expected to deliver between 10 to 12 million units by the end of the year.

The speaker was originally due to launch in December, but the month prior, Apple postponed the product until "early 2018". At the time, the company said the HomePod needed "a little more time before it's ready for our customers."

Missing December allowed products by Amazon and Google to gain a critical foothold in the smartspeaker market. Apple is prioritizing audio quality over voice functions though, which could help justify the HomePod's $349 pricetag.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39

    Missing December allowed products by Amazon and Google to gain a critical foothold in the smartspeaker market. Apple is prioritizing audio quality over voice functions though, which could help justify the HomePod's $349 pricetag.
    I mentioned this in another thread, sorry for the repeat.

    I seem to remember when HomePod was first announced there was talk of Siri having a limited functionality on it, like it would only support some music and HomeKit commands.  But on apple.com it says this on the HomePod page:

    Because it has Siri, HomePod can hear and answer questions in the most popular categories. Timers. Clocks. Measurements. Translations. News. Sports. Weather. Traffic. And general knowledge. It’s great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home.”

    That doesn’t seem as limited as we were led to believe. Or am I missing something? 

    (I suppose the limitations could be in the form of no personal stuff, like setting reminders and no functions it won’t support like making phone calls)
    edited January 2018 watto_cobraScot1jbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 39
    Missing December allowed Amazon the opening to have this buyer to try out an Echo Plus, only to hear first-hand how completely awful the audio is and confirm how limited the functionality is outside of music. i returned my almost unused Alexa this week. Can't wait for HomePod.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobraracerhomie3lkrupp
  • Reply 3 of 39
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 685editor

    Missing December allowed products by Amazon and Google to gain a critical foothold in the smartspeaker market. Apple is prioritizing audio quality over voice functions though, which could help justify the HomePod's $349 pricetag.
    I mentioned this in another thread, sorry for the repeat.

    I seem to remember when HomePod was first announced there was talk of Siri having a limited functionality on it, like it would only support some music and HomeKit commands.  But on apple.com it says this on the HomePod page:

    ”Because it has Siri, HomePod can hear and answer questions in the most popular categories. Timers. Clocks. Measurements. Translations. News. Sports. Weather. Traffic. And general knowledge. It’s great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home.”

    That doesn’t seem as limited as we were led to believe. Or am I missing something? 

    (I suppose the limitations could be in the form of no personal stuff, like setting reminders and no functions it won’t support like making phone calls)
    One of the difficulties is that we know Siri has different limitations on different devices. Siri on Mac can't talk to HomeKit. Siri on AppleTV can't do... things out side of media search. Siri in CarPlay has limitations for safety in the car. It's frustrating bumping up against these limitations. We don't know what limits HomePod does have, or how well it works.

    caladanianwatto_cobracecil444cecil444anantksundaram
  • Reply 4 of 39
    If these had been available for Christmas it would have maybe decreased Echo sales by 10% or so. In the long run this delay won’t be a difference maker. I do wonder what was added at the 11th hour to case the delay though. 
    watto_cobraScot1pscooter63jbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 39
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,715member
    smack416 said:
    Missing December allowed Amazon the opening to have this buyer to try out an Echo Plus, only to hear first-hand how completely awful the audio is and confirm how limited the functionality is outside of music. i returned my almost unused Alexa this week. Can't wait for HomePod.
    I bought two SONOS ONEs for $350 because the HomePod wasn't out.   I love the sound from them especially in stereo.  I'll probably breakdown and buy a HomePod sometime this year or I may add to my SONOS speakers with a Play 5 or PlayBase.   I am definitely interest if Apple will make a real Home Theater based system now that would use HomePods as the rear left and right speakers.  Usually bigger speakers mean better sound (deeper fuller) , I would even be more interested in an HomePodMax with an auxiliary line-in port or optical sound connection even if the unit cost is $200 more.   
    Scot1
  • Reply 6 of 39
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,715member

    vmarks said:

    Missing December allowed products by Amazon and Google to gain a critical foothold in the smartspeaker market. Apple is prioritizing audio quality over voice functions though, which could help justify the HomePod's $349 pricetag.
    I mentioned this in another thread, sorry for the repeat.

    I seem to remember when HomePod was first announced there was talk of Siri having a limited functionality on it, like it would only support some music and HomeKit commands.  But on apple.com it says this on the HomePod page:

    ”Because it has Siri, HomePod can hear and answer questions in the most popular categories. Timers. Clocks. Measurements. Translations. News. Sports. Weather. Traffic. And general knowledge. It’s great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home.”

    That doesn’t seem as limited as we were led to believe. Or am I missing something? 

    (I suppose the limitations could be in the form of no personal stuff, like setting reminders and no functions it won’t support like making phone calls)
    One of the difficulties is that we know Siri has different limitations on different devices. Siri on Mac can't talk to HomeKit. Siri on AppleTV can't do... things out side of media search. Siri in CarPlay has limitations for safety in the car. It's frustrating bumping up against these limitations. We don't know what limits HomePod does have, or how well it works.

    Siri is the biggest knock on Cook.   It's like apple is a command line (DOS) user who says "that mouse stuff will never take off".   HomePod should be a financial success and will sell more in it's first year than SONOS has sold ever.   I expect WWDC to have parts devoted to creating apps for siriOS.   Hopefully Apple is ready to support and expand the HomePod line similar to how they have consistently improved watchOS and the watch year after year since its release.
    Scot1patchythepiratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 39
    ivanhivanh Posts: 316member
    It’s better be a mesh network node too.
    jkichline
  • Reply 8 of 39
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 597member
    vmarks said:

    Missing December allowed products by Amazon and Google to gain a critical foothold in the smartspeaker market. Apple is prioritizing audio quality over voice functions though, which could help justify the HomePod's $349 pricetag.
    I mentioned this in another thread, sorry for the repeat.

    I seem to remember when HomePod was first announced there was talk of Siri having a limited functionality on it, like it would only support some music and HomeKit commands.  But on apple.com it says this on the HomePod page:

    ”Because it has Siri, HomePod can hear and answer questions in the most popular categories. Timers. Clocks. Measurements. Translations. News. Sports. Weather. Traffic. And general knowledge. It’s great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home.”

    That doesn’t seem as limited as we were led to believe. Or am I missing something? 

    (I suppose the limitations could be in the form of no personal stuff, like setting reminders and no functions it won’t support like making phone calls)
    One of the difficulties is that we know Siri has different limitations on different devices. Siri on Mac can't talk to HomeKit. Siri on AppleTV can't do... things out side of media search. Siri in CarPlay has limitations for safety in the car. It's frustrating bumping up against these limitations. We don't know what limits HomePod does have, or how well it works.

    Siri on Apple TV can control HomeKit. I use it to control my lights while using Apple TV 
    cecil444watto_cobraRayz2016jbdragon
  • Reply 9 of 39
    I am waiting credit card ready. Apple, take it already!
    watto_cobraMacsplosion
  • Reply 10 of 39
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,748member
    ivanh said:
    It’s better be a mesh network node too.
    Why make such a ridiculous statement?
    mike1
  • Reply 11 of 39
    vmarks said:

    Missing December allowed products by Amazon and Google to gain a critical foothold in the smartspeaker market. Apple is prioritizing audio quality over voice functions though, which could help justify the HomePod's $349 pricetag.
    I mentioned this in another thread, sorry for the repeat.

    I seem to remember when HomePod was first announced there was talk of Siri having a limited functionality on it, like it would only support some music and HomeKit commands.  But on apple.com it says this on the HomePod page:

    ”Because it has Siri, HomePod can hear and answer questions in the most popular categories. Timers. Clocks. Measurements. Translations. News. Sports. Weather. Traffic. And general knowledge. It’s great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home.”

    That doesn’t seem as limited as we were led to believe. Or am I missing something? 

    (I suppose the limitations could be in the form of no personal stuff, like setting reminders and no functions it won’t support like making phone calls)
    One of the difficulties is that we know Siri has different limitations on different devices. Siri on Mac can't talk to HomeKit. Siri on AppleTV can't do... things out side of media search. Siri in CarPlay has limitations for safety in the car. It's frustrating bumping up against these limitations. We don't know what limits HomePod does have, or how well it works.

    It’s baffling to me that Siri on Mac is aware of HomeKit but can’t control it. 

    I haven’t yet found any limitations in CarPlay. I can check sports scores, issue HomeKit commands, etc. and obviously text, call and listen to music. I’ve never tried anything while driving that would require a web search, though. 

    I know it’s limited on TV but for the most part those limitations make sense. Like no calls or texts. But HomeKit commands works, sports scores and weather work. I think it’s mostly the “personal” stuff like reminders and things like timers that don’t make a whole lot of sense on a TV or could be performed better on a different device that get removed. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 39
    Scot1Scot1 Posts: 39member
    I’m hoping that HomePod will also be the replacement for apples airport express or extreme
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 39
    Having purchased both the Amazon Echo and Amazon Spot last month, my opinion is that they're exceptional devices. The audio quality is good, but nothing special; but what they offer in terms  of music offerings, making calls, sending and receiving messages, asking questions, providing information news, sports scores, and more is why the pricier HomePod has better equal, or be superior to, the Echo family of devices and not just provide superior audio. I already have both Bose and Bang & Olufsen taking care of my audio sensibilities.
    Yes, I'm still buying the HomePod the first day it becomes available.

  • Reply 14 of 39
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,715member
    :) vmarks said:

    Missing December allowed products by Amazon and Google to gain a critical foothold in the smartspeaker market. Apple is prioritizing audio quality over voice functions though, which could help justify the HomePod's $349 pricetag.
    I mentioned this in another thread, sorry for the repeat.

    I seem to remember when HomePod was first announced there was talk of Siri having a limited functionality on it, like it would only support some music and HomeKit commands.  But on apple.com it says this on the HomePod page:

    ”Because it has Siri, HomePod can hear and answer questions in the most popular categories. Timers. Clocks. Measurements. Translations. News. Sports. Weather. Traffic. And general knowledge. It’s great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home.”

    That doesn’t seem as limited as we were led to believe. Or am I missing something? 

    (I suppose the limitations could be in the form of no personal stuff, like setting reminders and no functions it won’t support like making phone calls)
    One of the difficulties is that we know Siri has different limitations on different devices. Siri on Mac can't talk to HomeKit. Siri on AppleTV can't do... things out side of media search. Siri in CarPlay has limitations for safety in the car. It's frustrating bumping up against these limitations. We don't know what limits HomePod does have, or how well it works.

    So we should expect a bunch of OS updates with AirPlay2 support real soon  :)
    That is great.
  • Reply 15 of 39
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,715member

    bluefire1 said:
    Having purchased both the Amazon Echo and Amazon Spot last month, my opinion is that they're exceptional devices. The audio quality is good, but nothing special; but what they offer in terms  of music offerings, making calls, sending and receiving messages, asking questions, providing information news, sports scores, and more is why the pricier HomePod has better equal, or be superior to, the Echo family of devices and not just provide superior audio. I already have both Bose and Bang & Olufsen taking care of my audio sensibilities.
    Yes, I'm still buying the HomePod the first day it becomes available.

    My hope is that it comes with a much better Siri , but don’t expect it to. My disappointment would be lessened if Cook would announce a big investment in greatly improving Siri with a new AI center and thousands of employees.  Something just to show they are in the race.
    anantksundarambluefire1patchythepirate
  • Reply 16 of 39
    Siri is mediocre. Period. Apple has to seriously get going here.
    bluefire1patchythepirate
  • Reply 17 of 39
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Siri is mediocre. Period. Apple has to seriously get going here.
    Funny, I think they're all really really bad, Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Google whatever... Yet, it's Apple that gets the flack.

    People keep telling any of them are better, I go back to try... And they're all HORRIBLE.

    At least though you can use Siri well on the watch where somehow it gets its highest utility by far, much better than assistants on damn speakers which always seem like a much better idea than it really is (that's why I'm mostly buying the Homepod for the music aspect and integration with rest of ecosystem).

    I am not expecting anything from those crappy digital "assistant" no matter the name.
    pscooter63watto_cobrakruegdudelkruppjbdragon
  • Reply 18 of 39
    I still use Siri everyday, and use it for even Viber calls , timers ,alarms etc.

    I still prefer Siri’s wiki knowledge compared to Alexa’s Leftist Communist messages.
    watto_cobramike1jbdragon
  • Reply 19 of 39
    I still use Siri everyday, and use it for even Viber calls , timers ,alarms etc.

    I still prefer Siri’s wiki knowledge compared to Alexa’s Leftist Communist messages.
    I'm intrigued.  What source does Alexa use for it's Leftist Communist messages? Do you know?
    Soli
  • Reply 20 of 39
    I hadn't really thought about the name HomePod before, but what inference are we supposed to draw from that?

    One interpretation is "HomePod is an iPod for the home."  This implies that it really is mostly about music and audio, like iPod.  Sure you could do some other stuff with iPods, but those were just little extras.

    On the other hand, if we didn't know what an iPod was, the name implies that it's a "pod" (whatever that is) for/in the home.  In that context you really would expect a home control hub more than anything else.  Then you're expecting something like the Computer in Star Trek--exactly what Google Home and Echo (without the selling-you-stuff angle) instead of a competitor to Bose or Sonos.

    I would have thought that the second interpretation is the MUCH bigger market and a much more Apple-like ambition.  I can picture Steve saying things like "home automation is complete garbage; it's hard to use and has limited functionality and therefore it's irrelevant in the marketplace, but Apple is changing that..."  But from everything we're read, it appears that HomePod really is designed to be an iPod for the home with Siri support.  I don't doubt that Apple could/can revolutionize the home audio market and make a lot of money doing so (like they did with the portable audio market), but that had better not be the end game.  Perhaps they are trying to take the same path they did with the iPod and the iPhone.  Create a new market for portable audio devices (iPods) and then destroy/replace that market with specialized portable computers (iPhones).  The problem in this case is that two other major competitors are skipping straight to stage two, and apparently having significant success doing so (unlike the pre-iPhone smart phones).
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