Apple’s HomePod will be available for sale in China early next year. A listing is already up on Apple’s China site, with the smart speaker priced at RMB 2,799 (about $407), or about 17% more than its $349 price in the United States. Though Apple doesn’t list an exact shipping date for Chinese buyers, it says the HomePod will be available in early 2019.
Apple has balls, let me tell you that. It’s going to launch a smart speaker in the hottest battleground with a (much) higher price competing against Tencent, Baidu, Xiaomi and Alibaba’s smart speakers. All of them combined has hundreds of millions of devices installed. And let’s not forget, way less pricey options, as low as $15 in sales. Yeap, and options, which in smart speakers, Apple does not have a lot to show. Is the company hoping that customer loyalty to iPhones is going to be translated to the HomePod?
TechCrunch article illustrates this last point:
Despite formidable competition from Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi, Apple held an 11.9% market share in China as of the second quarter of 2018, according to Gartner (referring to the iPhone).
With the announcement of Apple Music in Alexa, we know Apple is focused on its services or at minimum Apple Music. What I will like to see more, it’s their efforts in a more service-oriented Siri. It’s where every smart assistant platform is moving. Siri’s co-founder said in a CNBC interview that Apple dropped the ball in third-party voice partners, but they are the future. I completely agree.
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