Apple HomePod pre-orders open today: here's what you need to know

null

The wait is nearly over. The Apple HomePod is now available to pre-order online (as of January 26) for those keen to get their hands on the smart speaker in the US, UK and Australia.

According to Apple, the Siri-powered smart speaker will begin shipping on February 9, which is also when it’s expected to go on sale in brick-and-mortar Apple Stores.

Read more: iDevices Switch Wi-Fi Smart Plug

It's likely to be very popular, so if you want to be one of the first to bark commands at Siri from your sofa you’ll want to pre-order one quick.

How can you get an Apple HomePod?

Pre-orders are available at Apple.com, as well as on the Apple Store app on iOS devices in the US, UK and Australia.

At the moment the HomePod can also be pre-ordered in the UK through for £319. UK retailers John Lewis, Currys and Argos are all also offering the new speaker.

If you're Stateside, you can check out Verizon, where the electronics retailer has a dedicated page for Apple's new smart speaker. It's unlikely that the HomePod will make its way to Amazon – especially considering that Amazon has a smart speaker of its own it'd like to sell – but we'll update this post should we spot it on the world's largest online retailer.

How much will the HomePod set you back? The Apple HomePod will cost $349 in the US, £319 in the UK and $499 in Australia.

What is the Apple HomePod?

For those who haven’t been keeping up, the Apple HomePod is a smart speaker in the mold of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, and is powered by Apple's virtual assistant, Siri. It promises better audio performance, but those boosted bass, midrange and highs are going to cost you – the Apple HomePod is substantially more expensive than any of the other smart speakers on the market right now.

Speaking of the competition, Apple is rather late to the smart speaker party, and many potential customers already own one of the HomePod’s competitors – so while its new speaker is likely to be popular, it remains to be seen how big a slice of the smart speaker pie Apple can claim for itself.