A couple of days ago, industry sources leaked information regarding the HomePod smart speakers from Apple. It claimed that a shipment was on its way.
An insider who worked for Inventec, a Taiwanese manufacturer commissioned to supply the Siri-powered speakers, noted that the first batch is only around one million units, which doesn't seem to be enough to meet the projected demand.
Now, reports claim that the device made its way to the FCC just like any device with wireless capabilities before its release.
Demand And Supply
The firm's other suppliers are apparently still busy catching up with production demand and tight shipping schedules. Analysts expect the company to ship around 10 to 12 million units before the end of the year. Meanwhile, updated reports from sources confirmed that the FCC just recently approved its distribution.
Launch Date Closer Than Speculated
Since its initial reveal, the smart speakers presumably did not change much from its original design. In fact, the documents filed with the FCC approval reportedly still dated Sept. 27, 2017. Based on the available details, Apple did not make any notable tweaks or replacements to the device's components.
The papers filed for the HomePod likewise revealed where the agency plans to attach its regulatory label. Users of the smart speaker will find the FCC information printed on the bottom of the unit.
Competition Will Be Tough
For now, the closest possible release date for the HomePod is sometime in February. The further its launch gets pushed back the better the foothold its competitors will establish.
After it missed its 2017 launch, Amazon and Google were the only two brands that had a presence during the holiday season.
Moreover, both companies actually licensed their digital voice assistant technologies to other manufacturers. Amazon's Alexa has been quite popular among users over the last few months with Google not far behind as it closes the gap.
Sound Quality Comparison
While most of the smart speakers out there were assembled by companies with little to no history with audio products, it is not hard to realize that audio quality is mostly just acceptable. There are certain models licensed out to brands that have decent to great output and quality.
The HomePod and its premium price point need to establish itself among competitors like Sony, JBL, Sonos, and Onkyo that already have a great background in audio speaker technology.
If The Price Is Right
With the affordable cost of some smart speakers, households can sometimes have more than one device installed in different areas like the kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and more. Buyers have to consider that the Apple HomePod carries a premium price of $349, so having more than one of the Siri-enabled smart speaker is going to be expensive.