In a series of local press releases, Apple has announced a new set of HomePod mini countries, as the slow global rollout continues. This follows hints back in July.
Finland, Norway, and Sweden will each get the smart speaker on December 13. South Africa will be next in line, from December 19. Apple has said that other countries will follow next year …
Apple launched the original HomePod in 2017, announcing it some six months ahead of the device going on sale.
At its Worldwide Developer Conference today, Apple has officially taken the wraps off of its oft-rumored speaker in the form of HomePod. The device acts as a standalone way for users to interact with Siri, play music, and more. Tim Cook touts this as Apple’s effort to “reinvent home music” just as it did with products like the iPad.
Despite offering incredible sound quality for the price, the device never achieved the commercial success it deserved, thanks to reviewers focusing on Siri’s limited smarts more than the audio performance.
As a smart speaker, HomePod was much more expensive than the competition, and less smart. I mean, if all you want is a smart speaker, you can pay less than 50 bucks to get an Echo Dot, and it’ll do more things than a HomePod.
But the original HomePod is not a smart speaker. It’s a really amazing value mid-range wireless speaker that is almost unrivaled in its price range. It uses audio technology that debuted in speakers costing tens of thousands of dollars, and was previously unavailable in anything costing less than four figures. Oh, and as the icing on the cake, it’s also smart.
Apple finally discontinued the speaker last year.
With the HomePod mini, Apple took a different approach. It built down to a price, rather than up to an audio standard, bringing the device it below the psychological $100 point.
The mini offered the same smarts as the original HomePod, but in a much more affordable and compact form, and the device proved much more popular.
The international rollout of the HomePod mini has been painfully slow, and that’s likely down to a combination of two factors.
First, after the relatively commercial failure of the original, Apple wanted to tread carefully, and test market response before a global rollout. Second, Siri’s capabilities need to be tailored to each language.
HomePod mini countries
Apple says that the price in Finland will be €109, while it will be 1,249 krone in both Norway and Sweden.
Apple today announced HomePod mini is available in [Finland/Norway/Sweden] starting December 13 for just €109.
HomePod mini delivers impressive sound, the intelligence of Siri to get things done, and a smart home experience that offers comfort and convenience without complexity. At just 84.3mm tall, HomePod mini is packed with innovative technologies and advanced software that together enable computational audio to provide rich 360-degree audio that sounds great from every angle.
HomePod mini is available in white, space grey, blue, orange, and yellow, and features colour-matched details throughout, including the mesh fabric, backlit touch surface, volume icons, and woven power cable.
For South Africa, where there are no Apple Stores, the company says the price may vary by seller.
HomePod mini is available in white, space grey, blue, orange, and yellow, and to order through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary) starting December 19.
Apple has said that other countries, including Denmark, will see a launch in the spring of next year. Let us know in the comments if you spot any additional countries.