I guess yesterday’s blog post was perfectly on point. That, or Apple saw all the chatter spreading through the Interwebz and decided that they may as well let the cat out of the bag. Cupertino’s foray into the smart speaker arena will officially hit store shelves on February 9 in the US, the UK and Australia with HomePod pre-orders being offered as of this Friday, January 26.

You’ll notice that the initial launch of the Apple HomePod will only take place in those initial countries. This means that for the rest of us, like those of us in Canada, we’re out of luck on an official basis until Apple decides to expand its distribution.

That’s the bad news. The good news is if you have a trusted friend in the US, UK or Australia (or you are willing to visit any of those places on your own), you can grab a HomePod and it should work in your home country too. You’ll be limited to English for now, but other languages will be coming in future software updates. Well, they say it will function in “most other countries,” so there may be some exceptions. Canada seems to be safe, though.

While HomePod pre-orders start this Friday, January 26 for the three aforementioned regions, the smart speaker will extend to France and Germany “this spring.” There’s still no official word on a Canadian launch.

“HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple,” said Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing Philip Schiller. “It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer, and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalog and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, beautiful design that is so much fun to use.”

Future updates will also bring support for multi-room audio by way of AirPlay 2, as well as the option to group two HomePod speakers together to form a stereo pair, just like Sonos. In the US, the HomePod will retail for $349 in your choice of white and space grey. In Australia and the UK, pricing is set at $499 and £319, respectively.

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