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Image credit: Chris Velazco/Engadget

Apple HomePod launches in China on January 18th

It's a huge market for the diminutive smart speaker.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
01.13.19 in AV
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Chris Velazco/Engadget

Apple's HomePod has only been available in a handful of countries (mostly North America and Europe) so far, but it's expanding availability in grand fashion. The company is releasing its smart speaker in China, including Hong Kong, on January 18th. There aren't any major changes to the device for its Asian debut, but it'll naturally tap into local playlists and support AirPlay for services beyond Apple Music.

The system will sell for HK $2,799 ($357) in Hong Kong and RMB 2,799 ($414) in mainland China.

Apple faces an uphill battle in China. Mainland smart speaker sales are dominated by models from domestic brands like Alibaba, Baidu and Xiaomi, with international mainstays like Amazon and Google effectively non-existent. HomePod might not do much to change local tastes, especially when it sits at the high end of the price spectrum. China still represents a massive potential audience for Apple, though, and it shows that the company is still committed to promoting its take on connected audio.

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