Apple HomePod Shipping China Jan 18 2019

Apple HomePod Arriving in China on January 18th has a new listing on its Chinese store website showing that HomePod will begin shipping on January 18, 2019 (shoutout to CNET for seeing it first). Voicebot reported in December that an Apple store listing showed HomePod as shipping in 2019. Today’s update shows an official order date. The listed price is RMB 2,799 and it will be available in both White and Deep Gray. It is expected to support both Mandarin and Cantonese.

The Big Move into China

Thus far the U.S.-based voice assistant providers have been operating outside of China without device presence or language support. Similarly, the Chinese voice assistant providers have focused on the China market and have not had any significant market momentum outside of the country. Apple will be the first major global voice assistant to enter China. Cortana does support a low-priced smart speaker from Xiaomi, but Microsoft is a small player in the consumer voice assistant space. So, Apple HomePod will be the first smart speaker to truly bridge the voice assistant wall between the West and China.

The move into China provides Apple with a HomePod presence in nine countries just one year after its official launch. Apple may seem like a minor player in the smart speaker wars today, but it is actually expanding its country and language footprint faster than either Amazon or Google did in their first year after launch.

Country Amazon Echo Google Home Apple HomePod
Australia Feb 2018 2017 Feb 2018
Austria 2017 Jun 2018
Canada 2017 2017 Jun 2018
China Jan 2019
Denmark Oct 2018
France Jun 2018 2017 Jun 2018
Germany 2016 2017 Jun 2018
India 2017  Apr 2018
Ireland Jan 2018 Jun 2018
Italy Oct 2018  Apr 2018
Japan 2017 2017
Korea Sept 2018
Mexico Nov 2018 Jun 2018 Oct 2018
Netherlands Oct 2018
New Zealand Feb 2018
Norway Oct 2018
Singapore Apr 2018
Spain Oct 2018 Jun 2018 Oct 2018
Sweden Oct 2018
United Kingdom 2016 2017 Feb 2018
United States 2014 2016 Feb 2018


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