Apple's HomePod smart speaker is now available, with a hefty price tag of £319. That's a lot of money to spend, but it's not a huge surprise given Apple's history of slapping a premium price onto damn near all of its products. While anyone paying that much for a speaker is bound to look after it, you might want to use a bit more care with your HomePod now that Apple has released pricing information for repairs.
Apple's support pages have updated to reveal a £268.44 price tag for any out of warranty repairs you might need. That's nearly £70 more than it would cost to replace it with a single Sonos ONE. That's not including the £13.44 you might have to spend on shipping if you don't live near an Apple Store. In fact it's only £50 less than buying a brand new HomePod, and that comes with free delivery.
The new slightly less horrifying news is that you're not going to have to pay that much of your cat chews up the power cord. According to 9to5Mac those will be repaired for £25, but only if they match Apple's criteria. They have to be sent into a dedicated repair centre to be fixed, though, and can't be done at your local Apple Store while you mill around by Millie's Cookies. I'm guessing that figure will include the shipping, though 9to5Mac hasn't specified exactly. Though why the HomePod doesn't include a detachable power cable is beyond me.
While it's not all that likely that the HomePod will be damaged, seeing as how it's got a slew of built in wireless features and will generally stay in one place, but that price is still pretty extreme. It almost makes spending £32 for a year of AppleCare+ seem like an attractive option, though personally I'd prefer to opt for something cheaper.
Reminder: if you have your heart set on a smart speaker system, Sonos is still offering two ONE speakers for £30 more than a single HomePod until 4th April. That has the added advantage of multi-room audio as well, since there are two of them. Plus, there are countless other options out there for people with differing needs and price points. None of them offer Siri, but then again a lot of them also offer a direct connection to Spotify. [Engadget]