HomePod heads to Hong Kong & mainland China on Jan. 18

Posted:
in General Discussion
The HomePod, available in the U.S. for nearly a year, will at last ship to Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland on Jan. 18, Apple said in a rare Sunday announcement.

Apple HomePod


"We're excited to bring HomePod to our customers in mainland China and Hong Kong markets," wrote Apple marketing head Phil Schiller. "We can't wait for them to experience how great it sounds in their home, we think they are going to love it."

The company didn't initially say how much the smartspeaker will cost, either in yuan or Hong Kong dollars. It's $349 in the U.S., but Apple products are typically more expensive in China, even with many of its assembly and supply partners operating there.

Apple notes that Siri will recognize music genres like "Mandopop" and "Cantopop," and that some AirPlay-compatible apps include the likes of QQ Music and Dragonfly FM. The company is also pushing its local "New Artist of the Week" program on Apple Music with artists like Corsak, Gong, and Lu Xianghui.

Reasons for the late launch are ambiguous, since China is a massive market and the product is already in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, and the U.K.

The HomePod has had a mixed reception, not the least because of Siri, service support, and its cost. Its pricetag is far above most smartspeakers, and while reviews have generally praised its sound quality they've derided Siri as inferior to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant -- in part because the only natively supported services tend to be Apple's own. Whereas the HomePod only offers Apple Music, an Amazon Echo offers that and several others, such as Spotify.



Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Yeah, another government spying device, I think Chinese people have plenty of that already from their own communist government to voluntary add another one from Uncle Sam. :D
    williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Why in the world is it so expensive? Comparable devices are much, much cheaper, and are very premium as well, as well as including more and better features. Bogles my mind at how expensive some Apple products are. I would never buy such a product even if it was a lot cheaper though. I don't trust always on voice assistants, but if I had a gun pointed it me, I would choose this over any Alexa or Google Voice ones. But because it is so expensive, few people will be wanting to buy one, making Alexa (who basically came out of nowhere) the market leader.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 14
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,730member
    mindwaves said:
    Why in the world is it so expensive? Comparable devices are much, much cheaper, and are very premium as well, as well as including more and better features. Bogles my mind at how expensive some Apple products are. I would never buy such a product even if it was a lot cheaper though. I don't trust always on voice assistants, but if I had a gun pointed it me, I would choose this over any Alexa or Google Voice ones. But because it is so expensive, few people will be wanting to buy one, making Alexa (who basically came out of nowhere) the market leader.

    What comparable devices are you using?
    netmagefastasleepmejsricwilliamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 14
    HomePod or nothing for my home!
    williamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 14
    netmagenetmage Posts: 256member
    The only comparable devices are comparable in price as well. Perhaps you don’t care about high quality sound or stereo music capability, but then this is the wrong product. If you do, there isn’t anything like it except perhaps the Sonos One, which isn’t as integrated as the HomePod but is only about $200. 
    fastasleepwilliamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 14

    Apple, please ensure that the HomePod is available a few degrees to the West, in India too!

    I wonder if "Cantopop" and "Mandopop" also have epic battles like the East Cost v/s West Coast Rap of yore!

  • Reply 7 of 14
    patsupatsu Posts: 428member
    mindwaves said:
    Why in the world is it so expensive? Comparable devices are much, much cheaper, and are very premium as well, as well as including more and better features. Bogles my mind at how expensive some Apple products are. I would never buy such a product even if it was a lot cheaper though. I don't trust always on voice assistants, but if I had a gun pointed it me, I would choose this over any Alexa or Google Voice ones. But because it is so expensive, few people will be wanting to buy one, making Alexa (who basically came out of nowhere) the market leader.
    Those much much cheaper devices are not comparable because they have much much lackluster sound.

    Also, HomePods can be controlled without using voice. I hooked 2 up to my Apple TV. So they make sound for every movie or music I started. You can also use iPhone/iPad to control the HomePods from the Control Center, or Home app.

    Siri works well for specifying songs and playlists, sometimes for HomeKit stuff (Turn on/off lights, lock doors). I never/seldom ask it general knowledge questions though. I use my Mac to search for answers.

    edited January 14
  • Reply 8 of 14
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,090member
    mindwaves said:
    Why in the world is it so expensive? Comparable devices are much, much cheaper, and are very premium as well, as well as including more and better features. Bogles my mind at how expensive some Apple products are. I would never buy such a product even if it was a lot cheaper though. I don't trust always on voice assistants, but if I had a gun pointed it me, I would choose this over any Alexa or Google Voice ones. But because it is so expensive, few people will be wanting to buy one, making Alexa (who basically came out of nowhere) the market leader.
    Utter and complete Horse-shit. Let me guess, you're comparing this to the Google Home mini and Amazon echo, right? Devices that are in no way, shape, or form comparable when it comes to sound quality. 

    The only comparable products are the Google Home Max, and higher end Sonos devices, and Homepod compares favorably to both in price AND sound quality. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 14
    Yeah, another government spying device, I think Chinese people have plenty of that already from their own communist government to voluntary add another one from Uncle Sam. :D
    I always find this notion odd: why is this a spying device? Because it has a microphone? Think about how many devices you own have microphones. These have been with us forever now. In the same line I find covering the camera odd. If I were a spying agency, I'd be much more interested in microphones than in cameras. Cameras don't deliver much, microphones do.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 14
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,623member

    slurpy said:
    mindwaves said:
    Why in the world is it so expensive? Comparable devices are much, much cheaper, and are very premium as well, as well as including more and better features. Bogles my mind at how expensive some Apple products are. I would never buy such a product even if it was a lot cheaper though. I don't trust always on voice assistants, but if I had a gun pointed it me, I would choose this over any Alexa or Google Voice ones. But because it is so expensive, few people will be wanting to buy one, making Alexa (who basically came out of nowhere) the market leader.
    Utter and complete Horse-shit. Let me guess, you're comparing this to the Google Home mini and Amazon echo, right? Devices that are in no way, shape, or form comparable when it comes to sound quality. 

    The only comparable products are the Google Home Max, and higher end Sonos devices, and Homepod compares favorably to both in price AND sound quality. 
    Evidently most of America thinks the homePod at $349 is too expensive because since before Thanksgiving Day there have been Sells for $250.    Hopefully they release the HomePod at that price so that it stands a chance in China.  You would have to pay me to be forced to use a product with Siri which I tend to avoid.   Alexa is so much better.   I can't wait for John Giannandrea to start changing things. 
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 14
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 621member
    mindwaves said:
    Why in the world is it so expensive? Comparable devices are much, much cheaper, and are very premium as well, as well as including more and better features. Bogles my mind at how expensive some Apple products are. I would never buy such a product even if it was a lot cheaper though. I don't trust always on voice assistants, but if I had a gun pointed it me, I would choose this over any Alexa or Google Voice ones. But because it is so expensive, few people will be wanting to buy one, making Alexa (who basically came out of nowhere) the market leader.
    What devices are you comparing the Homepod too?  It is comparable to the Google HomeMax ( $399.00 usd ) as well as the Sonos Play 3 which they no longer make ( $ 299.00 usd ) and the current Play 5 ( $ 499.00 usd ).  Homepod is not an echo dot or a Google Home Mini and should not be compared to these devices.

    Also where are the sales numbers to say that few people are buying them?  What is the obsession with folks thinking this is a dud not worth the $$?  I just don't get it...

    I have it and love it.  I think the update 12.1.1 tweaked the sound a bit more and it sounds top notch! It always sounded good, but the bass fills out more noticeably and there seems to be a little bump in the gain for total volume.  Damn it sounds good and worth every penny in my opinion...

    williamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 14
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 727member
    I guess this means the HomePod isn't getting an update for a while, else they wouldn't bother releasing it in more countries.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    croprcropr Posts: 884member
    I don't know what the reason is, but it feels strange to me that one year after launch the HomePod is only available in a very limited number of countries.

    And by the way, Apple only allows an EU citizen to buy the HomePod online, if that person is using an IP address from Germany, France, UK or Spain,  Which is a clear violation of the EU consumer law.

    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 14
    Apple did not sell the HomePod earlier because of lack of Siri support.

    This also the situation for the Apple TV: We cannot (up to this moment) enable Siri in AppleTV and in fact the AppleTV sold in Hong Kong has gelded the microphone for Siri.

    Hope this will be changed when the HomePod ships.
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