Apple’s HomePod to Enter China Early Next Year

Apple confirmed that its HomePod smart speaker will be entering China in early 2019. The nation is new in Apple’s slow expansion across the world for the Siri-powered device. After launching in the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia this past February, the tech-giant has slowly started bringing the device to additional countries around the globe. The HomePod also reached France, Canada, and Germany in June while it was welcomed in Mexico and Spain in the month of October.

HomePod rivals Google Home and Amazon Echo have not yet launched in China. But it’s Apple’s smart speakers that will compete with a host of homegrown devices such as Tencent’s Tingting that integrates with Alibaba’s Tmall Genie, WeChat, and other models Baidu, and Xiaomi’s Mi Bluetooth speaker. Many of these smart speakers are much cheaper than Apple’s HomePod. For instance, the Tmall Genie, Baidu’s Xiaodu and Tingtin are been offered at a discount of $15. However, despite being little costly, the HomePod seems to be an attractive option for iOS users. Apple held an 11.9 percent market share in China despite formidable competition from Huawei, Samsung, and Xiaomi, Gartner revealed.

The HomePod in China will be available at RMB 2,799 or about $408.21. It’s a markup from the American cost of around dollar 350. It’s been a struggle for Chinese smart speaker makers to develop other languages beyond Mandarin and Cantonese but yes Apple already has this technology built in its smart speaker. Preorders aren’t available yet for the HomePod in China but the company has created a new product page on its website saying that device will be available in early 2019. HomePod depends on voice interaction to play music from Apple Music library, perform tasks and much more. And to work in China, the company has decided to offer simplified, traditional and Hong Kong traditional Chinese language support.

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