Apple HomePod Clears FCC Hurdle, Faces Battle Against Amazon Echo And Google Home

The much-rumored Apple’s Siri-based intelligent speaker, the HomePod, has officially been granted approval by the Federal Communications Commission, or as people more commonly know the organization, the FCC. To go along with that, the FCC has also made public documents Apple filed with the agency, suggesting a release is imminent in 2018.

While the documents are usually dated September 27 but have just now been released. But the approval means we are likely to be as close to HomePod smart speaker release as we will get without it physically being in our hands.

Now that FCC approval has been obtained, suggests the HomePod will launch in the near future. Apple is free to begin selling the device at any time soon.

It was when Apple first announced its HomePod Siri-powered smart speaker in June of last year, the company said it would be available to purchase in December, initially in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Well, December has come and gone and we are not into early 2018, which is the new launch time frame listed on the HomePod’s product page. That being the case, the hardware likely has not changed in the past several months. With the HomePod now polished up and gearing for retail availability. Exactly when still remains to be seen.

However, for one reason or another, which will likely remain known only to iPhone maker, that Apple’s HomePod hardware launch was delayed with the company specifying that the gadget would filter into the market in “early 2018”.

New details have emerged from the FCC filing, which has been met with the commission’s approval. Dated September 27, 2017, meaning that Apple actually filed the submission approximately 4-months ago. One f the most interesting things that we have learned is that it would appear that not much has changed with the hardware since then, bot in terms of physical design and appearance and functionality, a new document doesn’t appear to have been submitted in the last four months.

Ahead of the promised “early 2018” launch of the HomePod, Apple has received official FCC approval for the smart speaker. The approval by the FCC would also tie-in nicely, with earlier reports suggesting that Apple’s suppliers have shipped an approximate one million HomePod units for global sale, with an estimated 12 million HomePod’s expected to be pushed out into the market during 2018 alone.

In fact, the regulatory and license information has been found in the beta of iOS 11.2.5, you start to see a picture that would suggest that Apple could actually start offering HomePod for sale as early as next month.

With FCC clearance of the HomePod follows a rumor earlier suggesting HomePod supplier Inventec has already started shipping HomePod units to Apple. Reportedly set to receive “about 1 million” HomePod devices and an industry source that spoke to the Taipei Times, the source of the speculation, has said that the HomePod is coming “soon.”

Early 2018 is something of a broad window, as Apple considers it to be the period between January and April, so it’s been tough to narrow down the prospective launch date of the HomePod. Given the shipment rumors and the FCC approval, though, we may see the device in late January or early February rather than later in the year.

When HomePod does ship, interested consumers can expect to get a powerful speaker with the intelligence to adapt to its environment. There will also be Siri integration, high-fidelity audio pumped out from seven internal tweeters, and Apple’s own A8 chip will function as the brains behind the product and technology. HomePod will cost $349.

Note: Inventec is also expecting revenue from the HomePod to be “limited” during Q1 2018 due to a low quantity of HomePod devices available for shipment. But when it arrives, the HomePod will go up against established players such as Amazon and its Echo line and Google and it’s Home smart speakers.

Description

Apple’s HomePod will feature AI assistant integration – Siri, in this case. Users will be able to bark out commands and queries to the HomePod, performing tasks such as playing music, looking up weather information, and control other smart home devices.

(Source: FCC)

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