Apple started working on the Siri-powered HomePod smart speaker back in 2012, according to a new report. Well, that’s just a year after Siri’s debut on the iPhone 4S.
The report says HomePod was cancelled and revived several times since then.
Two years later, the project got an official codename (B238), and was moved to Valley Green 1 office (near Apple’s headquarters) under Apple’s accessories division.
Apple designers came up with different prototypes for the speaker; one of which was a 3 feet tall model, while another featured a ‘flat panel with a mesh screen on the front.’ The company also considered different color variants for the device initially, but the finished product ended up being black, and white.
Apple even considered selling the HomePod under Beats brand name, however, it scrapped the idea.
Apple’s HomePod was originally designed to be a superior speaker than the likes of JBL, Bose, and Harman Kardon, the report claims. Perhaps that’s why Apple isn’t allowing app ecosystem for HomePod, unlike Amazon’s Echo, which is a standalone product with over thousands of skills (voice-activated apps). HomePod appears to be more of an accessory than a platform, as it is heavily dependent on iPhone than cloud, with Siri being one of the key selling points.
The company did study Amazon Echo when it launched in 2014, but the inferior sound quality couldn’t impress Apple engineers back then, and they went to work on something that sounded better.
Despite the delay in HomePod’s launch, Apple is reportedly expected to sell 4 million HomePod units next year, according to the source. A holiday season without an actual competitor is definitely a good sales time for Amazon (and Google, too).
OnePlus 6T to launch in Nepal on November 11
OnePlus’ fastest device is coming faster than ever in Nepal this time.
OnePlus recently announced that it will be launching the OnePlus 6T in Nepal on November 11. The company launched the handset just last month in New York.
Yes, OnePlus is sticking to its ridiculous six-month update cycle that outdates the only flagship every six months.
The OnePlus 6T features a 6.41-inch AMOLED display with a teardrop notch, and a chin, of course, on the front. It packs a 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset coupled with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, depending upon your preference.
OnePlus has added an in-display fingerprint scanner to the handset, and removed the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. The battery included in slightly larger in capacity than what we’ve seen on the OnePlus 6. Rest follows what’s on the OnePlus 6.
You can pre-order the OnePlus 6T in Nepal beginning November 11, and get the handset delivered in the next few days if not weeks. OnePlus Nepal is offering the handset at a discounted price of 69,999 NPR for the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage variant, in partnership with Alibaba’s Daraz to celebrate its Double 11 sales day.
That said, the regular OnePlus 6T pricing will likely be a little over what Daraz is offering.
We’ve reached out to OnePlus for more information, and will update this article as the story progresses.
Update: OnePlus will be selling the OnePlus 6T for 75,999 NPR in Nepal after the Daraz Double 11 sale is over. Grab the discounted price while you can.
OnePlus 6T gets new Thunder Purple finish in China
OnePlus fans in China are in for a treat that’s not black but purple.
OnePlus has announced a new OnePlus 6T variant that it’ll trade exclusively in China for the time being. The new OnePlus flagship doesn’t take another tech specs bump in this news, rather a new finish. Thunder Purple.
While the US and rest of the world has to settle for OnePlus 6T Mirror Black and Midnight Black, customers in China will be able to avail a new Thunder Purple finish of the OnePlus 6T. It’s similar to Samsung’s Lavender Purple, with more light purple at the bottom and darker as it reaches to the top.
For 3,399 Yuan ($490), you can grab the Thunder Purple OnePlus 6T with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage in China. Rest of the world, waiting could be the only option for now.
Apple Pay is set to launch in Germany
This could happen anytime soon.
Apple is about to launch Apple Pay in Germany. Local banks have started emailing customers about Apple Pay’s launch in the country, but none have mentioned an exact launch date yet. Plus, Apple’s Germany website also states “coming soon” for the mobile payments service, leaving us without an exact date.
Apple earlier this year promised that it will launch Apple Pay in Germany before the end of this year; we can now see where it’s headed. Apple Pay made its debut in Europe when it launched in the United Kingdom in 2015, and now covers most parts of the continent. The contactless payments service could go live in Germany anytime soon.
At launch, Apple Pay will support American Express, Maestro, MasterCard, Visa, Boon, Bunq, ComDirect, Square, Edenred, Fidor Bank, Hanseatic Bank, HypoVereinsbank, N26, O2 Banking, and Vim Pay customers in Germany.
Stay tuned for more information as the story progresses.