Apple's HomePod lands in Canada, France, Germany

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple's smart speaker has arrived in three more countries, with customers in France, Germany, and Canada now able to buy the HomePod from regional retailers as well as from Apple directly, just over four months after the intelligent audio device initially shipped.




The HomePod is available to purchase in each country's regional online Apple Store, as well as physical Apple retail outlets and other major third-party retailers. According to the online Apple stores, the HomePod is being sold for 349 euro ($405) in France and Germany, and CAD $449 ($349) in Canada.

Confirmed by Apple in late May, the launch of the HomePod doubles the number of countries it is available for purchase within to six, with the trio of new countries joining the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

The launch in the new countries was preempted by an expansion of Siri's linguistic capabilities on the HomePod, via firmware released at the end of May. Language options for French, German, and Canadian English were made available, though the online Apple Store for Canada advises Canadian French language support will be arriving later this year.





It is likely Apple will bring HomePod to more regions later this year, though it is unknown which markets will be targeted next. The rollout will probably be similar in structure, with a firmware enabling more language options preceding availability.

Other than pricing and different plugs for electrical outlets, the version of the HomePod provided in the new countries will be physically and functionally identical to versions sold elsewhere.

The firmware update also introduced a number of key features to the HomePod alongside extended language support, such as support for AirPlay 2, Apple's new protocol for audio streaming. The same update also enabled stereo pairing, which allows two HomePods to provide left and right channels of stereo audio, and provided Siri with calendar support.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,519member
    At the  insistence of the French culture ministry a HomePod in France will be named  'Ordinateur avec un conteneur de son' ;)
    edited June 18 anantksundaramwillcropointwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,872member
    Finally a HomePod which will recognize colour, centre, cheque, and toque!
    DAalsethaegeanwatto_cobrachasm
  • Reply 3 of 11
    ...and perhaps soon 'poutine'... :)
    auxiochasm
  • Reply 4 of 11
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,299member
    Apple still need to make the HomePod a lot less useless for people who don't have Apple Music.
    If you don't have Apple music, it's just a paperweight that leaves a ring in the wood.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 11
    aegeanaegean Posts: 98member
    auxio said:
    Finally a HomePod which will recognize colour, centre, cheque, and toque!
    HomePod speaks the language from the language settings on your phone. Though I live in NA, and bought the HomePod on the day it was released in the US, my HomePod talks to me in English language, and it *recognises* British English as it is set as default language on my every device.
    edited June 18 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 718member
    Apple would release HomePod in NZ but they haven't taught Siri to understand "Fush and chups" yet ;)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,735member
    evilution said:
    Apple still need to make the HomePod a lot less useless for people who don't have Apple Music.
    If you don't have Apple music, it's just a paperweight that leaves a ring in the wood.
    Not on the wood most people have, and with airplay2, it's you can do stuff without Apple music.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Lucky guys!!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,519member
    evilution said:
    Apple still need to make the HomePod a lot less useless for people who don't have Apple Music.
    If you don't have Apple music, it's just a paperweight that leaves a ring in the wood.
    Mmmm... really?  I don't have Apple Music and use two HomePods everyday, paired and positioned either side of large screen TV connected to  TV 4K.  For us they play iTunes Match, they play NPR radio, act as cooking timers, reminders for all manner of events, control the AC by voice, weather and wind reports for kayaking and amazing audio for large screen 4K TV for everything from World Cup Football to watching Movies and Netflix.  That's barely scratching the surface of the use we put them too.  I want a couple more one for each of our home offices.  Oh, and not left any marks on our wood.  Did I mention the audio is stunning?
    edited June 19 anantksundaramchasm
  • Reply 10 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 779member
    evilution said:
    Apple still need to make the HomePod a lot less useless for people who don't have Apple Music.
    If you don't have Apple music, it's just a paperweight that leaves a ring in the wood.
    This is just plain factually wrong on all fronts. While it certainly works best with the Apple Music service, it also works perfectly with existing iTunes libraries and podcasts. It also works as an AirPlay (1) device, meaning you can push any audio (including Spotify) you want to it from any of your other Apple devices (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, Mac ...). And this is before we get to AirPlay 2, which is now out and significantly expands all of these abilities, including working with Apple TV and a small-but-growing number of other AirPlay 2 devices.

    I'm not sure if it was ignorance or malice that drove your comments, but they are false -- and you need to do some additional research to educate yourself on the device.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    Hi,

    as Apple evangelist I was really looking forward to the release of the HomePod in Germany and ordered it right away on the morning of July 18. Good news: they beat the scheduled delivery between June 28 and July 3 by about a week, just 3 days later the guys arived (I ordered 2 naturally, wanted to test the stereo experience). Unpacking was the usual experience, just nice how Apple packs its products :-). config was also the usual fluent experience, and the guys appeared nicely in the Home app. Quality also undisputed, they just know how to build stuff!

    But that was about the best part of the whole show. I now look at the wrapped box to return the lovely guys back to Apple. I ran an intensive test in competition to my 10 year old bundle of Bowers&Wilkins Zeppelin and iPod classic, and the team miserably failed. Here are the reasons:

    - On the technical side, multiple times the guys lost the stereo connection all the wY to one not reacting at all anymore and just playing music along. Also the Home app lost connection many times with the HomePods. I hoped that AirPlay 2 would finally be more reliable, but it just can’t compete with the stability of Sonos which are just work, always!

    - Siri: don’t let me start here, think enough people have reported on the problems with Siri already. And I do not mean the problem with only one user being able to sign in and being identified, but just basic recognition. Sometimes it work, bit more often even basic songs are not being identified! To top it all even standard radio stations, a real basic use of such a device, are not identified and some playlists from Aplle Music being selected instead. Not sure if it works in the US, but here in Germany it just sucks unfortunately.

    - And now the most important part, the sound! So, admittedly they sound good, but that is as far as I would go. My Zeppelin has cost 600 Euro 10years ago, the HomePod duo 700 Euro. I am just a consumer who appreciates good sound, and tested it with Michael Jacksons Thriller, Vangelis Theme from Antarctica, Totos I will remember, Ultravox Visions in blue, and finally with Hans Zimmers Dark night from his big concert tour. Bottom line: to me the Zeppelin sounds much better. Again not being an expert, my feeling is that though bass and highs are good, the mid range frequencies suffer and let the whole listening experience sound rather thin. Only regarding ambience they collected some points compared to the Zeppelin, the stereo effect works well.

    So bottom line, I am personally disappointed with the experience. The sound is ok, actually the HomePod survived the sound test better than  the Sonos Play5, and would not have been the sole reason to send them back. But all the flaws with AirPlay, Siri, and stability are just not up for Apple’s usual standards. Unfortunately I see a pattern emerging, more and more often Apple is not thinking things through and do not test the mere practical aspects, i.e. how customers are using devices and software in the daily life. And we know Apple for the fact that things just work, and they play a dangerous game with their credibility. A good idea is just not good enough guys!

    Cheers,
    Bernd
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