New HomePod Launches Today, Apple Store Pickup Now Available
Apple's second-generation HomePod launches today, with the new smart speaker available for pickup at Apple Stores in the U.S. and select other countries. Online pre-orders also begin arriving to customers today, and pre-ordering is no longer required.
Apple customers can use the Apple online store or App Store app to order a HomePod for Apple Store pickup. Simply select the "I'll pick it up" option at checkout, enter your ZIP or postal code, and select the most convenient Apple Store location. Customers can then select a pickup date and 15-minute check-in window.
Priced at $299 and coming in Midnight and White color options, the new HomePod looks very similar to the original HomePod that Apple discontinued in 2021, but there are some subtle design changes and several new features.
The second-generation HomePod has a refined design with a larger backlit touch surface and a removable power cable, while inside there are five tweeters (as opposed to seven in the original model), four far-field microphones (as opposed to six), and new temperature and humidity sensors.
The new HomePod is powered by Apple's S7 chip, and comes with Thread support, a U1 Ultra Wideband chip to support music handoff, and Wi-Fi 802.11n connectivity. It also supports Spatial Audio. Two HomePods can be used together to form a stereo pair, but original HomePod owners should note that the new HomePod can't be stereo paired with the first-generation model.
The new $299 HomePod is available from today in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, the US, and 11 other countries.