Apple (AAPL - Free Report) recently confirmed that its smart speaker, HomePod, will be available in China and Hong Kong from Jan 18. The device is priced at RMB 2,799 ($414) in China and HKD $2,799 ($357) in Hong Kong.
Although Apple is a late entrant in the smart speaker market, HomePod is gaining momentum on brand loyalty and expanding global footprint. Notably, the device is already available in UK, the United States, France, Canada, Germany, Spain, Mexico and Australia.
What Does China Entry Mean?
HomePod, which was earlier available only via third-party distributors, is expected to benefit from the rapidly growing Chinese smart speaker market. Per Canalys, China is the world’s second largest smart speaker market, shipping 5.8 million (29.4% of global shipment) smart speakers in third-quarter 2018.
Apple is also looking to push the usage of its music services on HomePod, as music was the most commonly used feature (70%) in smart speakers in 2018, per Adobe Analytics survey.
Notably, HomePod will support a variety of popular local music streaming apps including Tencent’s QQ Music, Dragonfly FM and DeDao in China and JOOX, Spotify (SPOT - Free Report) and KKBOX in Hong Kong.
Moreover, users will be able to stream songs from Apple Music’s New Artist of the Week program directly to the device. Some featured artists from China include Lucie Cheung, Lu Xianghui and Corsak among others.
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