Buried amid the flurry of iOS 11.4 news issued by Apple today is one key piece of hardware news: the company’s high-end smart speaker will be arriving in a number of additional key markets next month. After hitting stores in February here in the States, the HomePod will be arriving in Canada, France and Germany on June 18. That brings the Siri-powered smart speaker’s availability up to half-a-dozen countries, including the U.K. and Australia.
The HomePod’s reception has been something of a mixed bag since launch. Apple’s been almost universally praised for the small speaker’s sound quality, but pricing and limited Siri functionality have left many users looking to other options in a category currently dominated by the likes Amazon and Google. Apple hasn’t addressed sales figures to this point, but third-party reports have been pretty lackluster, thus far.
Of course, today’s iOS update brings some good news for HomePod owners — and should make the device a bit more well-rounded, so to speak. The long awaited addition of stereo pairing means you can buy not one, but two, of the $ 349 devices for your living, with each one managing a different stereo channel. AirPlay 2, meanwhile, brings some welcome upgrades for multi-room streaming through iOS — though the feature is set to be compatible with devices from a wide range of third-party manufacturers.
No word yet on how much the HomePod will run in its new countries.