A year after U.S. release, Apple HomePod aims for success in China

homepod tips and tricks availability interior placement 012218

The Apple HomePod is scheduled for availability in China in early 2019, according to The Verge.

Apple famously moves at its own speed for product announcements and launches. The long-awaited Apple HomePod smart speaker launched in the U.S., U.K., and Australia in February, but further expansion has been measured. Apple fans could buy the HomePod in Canada, France, and Germany in June, followed by Mexico and Spain in October. Sometime soon after the new year, China will be on the HomePod’s map.

A recently added HomePod product page on Apple’s website in China refers to the HomePod as “The new voice of the home.” The website appropriately focuses on the HomePod’s great sound production and its ability to adapt to different spaces in the home.

Two significant factors should contribute to the HomePod’s success in China: Language and iOS. The HomePod supports Mandarin and Cantonese dialects of the Chinese language. Exact ratios of Mandarin to Cantonese speakers in China are unavailable, but Mandarin is the dialect used in Chinese-speaking schools, and the majority of Chinese people can speak Mandarin, even if it might not be their native dialect. Other Chinese smart speakers support only Mandarin, so the Cantonese support not only extends the product reach but may also appeal to the citizens’ pride of China’s long, diverse history and culture.

A second factor in the HomePod’s potential success in China is the popularity of iPhones. Two iPhone models, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were among the top five most popular smartphones sold in China in 2017, according to AppleInsider. iPhone popularity matters because you need an iOS device running iOS 12 in China to set up the HomePod.

HomePod pricing is available on the Chinese Apple Website. The HomePod will be available in white or deep gray for approximately $407. So HomePod buyers in China can expect to pay about a 16 percent premium over the $350 price. The AppleCare+ service plan for Homepod which provides up to two years of technical support and accidental damage warranty coverage will cost about $48.

The HomePod’s role in voice control of other Apple HomeKit devices is mentioned on the smart speaker’s product page, but not stressed as much as audio quality and intelligent space adaptability.

Home Theater

Focal’s new crazy-expensive Stellia headphones are utterly clear, remarkably open

Focal unveils its latest testament to mobile audiophilia in the new Stellia, a $3,000 pair of closed-back headphones. It's no surprise that the Stellia are luxurious inside and out, but what is surprising is the vast openness of the sound.

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for February 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for February 2019.

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for February 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Smart Home

Have Siri control your home with the best devices that work with Apple HomeKit

Though they've been slow to trickle out, the list of HomeKit smart home products continues to grow and will only continue to do so now that the HomePod is available. Here's a list of the best Apple HomeKit-compatible devices.
Home Theater

Can a slew of high-tech new features save the HomePod from extinction?

The HomePod hasn't exactly met expectations as far as sales go. But a new patent suggests that Apple might be about to overhaul it, with facial recognition, gesture control and a high- res touchscreen. Will it be enough?
Home Theater

8K TV: Everything you need to know about the future of television

4K TVs may seem relatively new, but there's another even higher-resolution display technology already here: 8K TV. Should you upgrade? We've got the answers to that question and more.

These wireless earbuds use an A.I. to get you moving faster

The new Soul Blade wireless earbuds provide the ability to track your heart rate during a workout while an A.I.-powered coach gives advice and info on how to improve form and efficiency while exercising.
Movies & TV

From Roma to Isle of Dogs: Here’s where to watch 2019’s Oscar nominees online

The 2019 Oscar field is a strong one, and if you missed some of the films in theaters, you may be in luck: Several of them are available on popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

Here's how to turn off subtitles on Netflix, no matter the device

Subtitles are great if you want or need them, but they can be a major headache if you’ve somehow turned them on by accident and can’t figure out how to get rid of them. Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it seems.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.

Walmart drops prices on Samsung 4K TVs during Presidents’ Day sale

With 8K TVs on the horizon, the cost of owning a 4K Ultra HD television has dropped pretty significantly in recent years, and this Walmart Presidents' Day sale is offering some great prices.
Product Review

Focal’s ultra-clear Sphear Wireless bring sexy back to banded Bluetooth buds

Focal’s Sphear Wireless are a sleek and simple pair of banded Bluetooth earbuds with exceptional sound and an affordable price, making them some of the only non-true wireless earbuds we’d consider buying right now.