Apple’s HomePod speaker has launched in three new countries, including Canada, France, and Germany.
Users can speak to HomePod in French and German, with French-Canadian language support set to be added later this year. Ahead of the release, HomePod also added support for local news outlets in these countries, allowing users to get flash news briefs from closer-to-home news sources.
The smart speaker costs CA$449 ($341) in Canada and 349 euros ($405) in France and Germany, compared with $349 in the U.S. You’ll also probably want to shell out for Apple’s streaming music Apple Music service to get the most out of the smart speaker.
The arrival of the HomePod in Canada, France, and Germany comes shortly after iOS 11.4 added AirPlay 2, letting users connect multiple HomePods throughout your home.
Apple’s HomePod success so far
HomePod launched in the U.S. at the start of this year. Reviews of the first-generation HomePod have been mixed. Sound quality has been heavily praised, but its Siri voice assistant was criticized — particularly next to the smart assistants in the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices. Its high price point has also proven controversial.
So far, HomePod has failed to gain much traction in the smart speaker space. According to research company Strategy Analysts, Apple managed to capture just 6 percent of the smart speaker market in the first three months of this year. Whether it’s managed to carve out a bigger piece of the pie since then remains to be seen. New markets will certainly help Apple to sell more units, however.
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