San Francisco, Jan 14: Apple has announced the availability of its smart speaker HomePod in mainland China and Hong Kong markets, starting January 18. The system will sell for $357 in Hong Kong and $414 in China. HomePod supports AirPlay 2, creating an effortless way for people to stream audio content from popular apps and services directly from an iOS device to HomePod, the company announced on Sunday. Apple Plans 10 Per Cent Cut in Production of New iPhone XS Max, XS and XR: Report
"HomePod delivers an unmatched music listening experience with high-fidelity sound wherever it is placed and creates a new way to discover and interact with music using Siri," said Philip Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing.
"We're excited to bring HomePod to our customers in mainland China and Hong Kong markets," he added.
HomePod is designed for voice control with an array of six microphones. Siri Shortcuts, introduced with iOS 12, open up a world of apps to work on HomePod. Personalising shortcuts for HomePod with a series of tasks is easy with a new Shortcuts app.
"Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of Apple hardware, software and services. With HomePod, only after 'Hey Siri' is recognized locally on the device will any information be sent to Apple servers, encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier," said Apple.
End-to-end encryption ensures that data cannot be accessed, even by Apple. HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s or later, iPad Pro, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, or iPod touch (6th generation). 2018 iPad Pro Controversy: Apple Publishes a New Support Page To End Alleged Bending Issues.
"Personal requests, such as the ability to send messages, make phone calls, check calendar appointments and more, are only available if the feature is turned on in Settings and the iOS device is on the same network as HomePod, Apple added.