Apple’s HomePod Seen in California and China Ahead of December Launch

Official details of the Apple HomePod remain under wraps for now, but Apple’s upcoming smart speaker may have already been spotted in the wild.

According to a new report from 9to5Mac, versions of the hotly anticipated Siri-equipped speaker appear to be in testing by employees in the U.S., while one Instagram user seems to have snagged a unit in China. On can only assume that these HomePods are test units. Lending credence to that theory is a new pair of leaks that suggest there are already HomePods out in the world in use right now.

The first comes courtesy of Twitter user Benedict Evans, who posted a telling screenshot of his iPhone:

One of the icons is an audio device named “Kitchen,” with an image that looks quite similar to the Apple HomePod silhouette. The second leak comes courtesy of an Instagram user called “themrlink,” who posted an image of what certainly looks like the smart speaker, alongside the hashtag “#homepod.”

With Siri support built-in, HomePod is capable of answering basic user queries, controlling HomeKit-connected appliances and playing back media content. The smart speaker features a 3D mesh acoustic fabric, covering a 7-tweeter pack, 6-microphone beam-forming array and central up-firing subwoofer.

Apple has stated the device will be available sometime in December for $349 USD, but has yet to cite a specific launch date. The company will likely provide more information at its special event next week.