Apple HomePod gets FCC certification, signals impending release

Apple's HomePod smart speaker is expected to launch soon. (Source: Apple)
Apple's HomePod smart speaker is expected to launch soon. (Source: Apple)
Apple is well behind the smart speaker 8-ball when it comes to the launch of its Siri-powered HomePod. First unveiled in June, it has now received FCC certification suggesting its launch can't be too far away.
Sanjiv Sathiah,

With a recent survey showing one-in-six Americans now owns a smart speaker, Apple would have been pained that it missed its planned holiday launch of its Siri-powered HomePod smart speaker. First unveiled in June, the HomePod was already late to make an appearance with the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo hitting the market in late 2014.

Although no reason was given for the delay, that Apple doesn't seem to have had any trouble getting the 'OK' from the FCC. The FCC approval papers date back to September, suggesting it was something else that caused the delay. The HomePod is differentiated largely by its emphasis on sound quality (in addition to its Siri powers) and features Apple’s custom A8 ARM-based silicon to give it some genuine on-board smarts.

Featuring a high-excursion woofer with a 20mm diaphragm, seven-tweeter array and a six-microphone array, the HomePod uses an algorithm that continuously analyzes the music and then dynamically tunes the speaker output in response. Priced at a steep $349, it will want to sound amazing for a tiny 6-inch tall device. Expect it next month, or March at the very latest if it is to meet Apple’s launching “early 2018” promise.


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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2018-01-21 (Update: 2018-01-21)
Sanjiv Sathiah
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.