After missing the critical holiday shopping season, Apple Inc has jumped into the voice speaker wars with the HomePod smart speaker, a device that will use its Siri voice assistant and compete against offerings from Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google.

Apple on Tuesday said it will start taking online orders for its HomePod smart speaker on Friday in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, just over a month later than initially planned.

There’s no word yet on when the speaker will be available in Canada.

The US$349 voice-controlled speaker, introduced in June and originally scheduled for a December release, can make music suggestions and adjust home temperatures. The speaker also will be able to send messages and play news updates from National Public Radio and CNN, Apple said in a release.

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Analysts have debated the impact of the shipping delay on the HomePod’s eventual success. Apple has forecast between US$84 billion and US$87 billion in revenue for the holiday – mostly driven by sales of its US$999 iPhone X – so it is …read more

Source:: Financial Post – Tech

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