Apple’s HomePod may not go on sale officially until February 9th, but those who placed pre-orders last Friday have begun to be charged, with people in the United Kingdom particularly reporting that their cards are showing authorizations for payment.

With customers beginning to be charged for their new HomePods, others have also noted that the shipping status of their orders has begun to alter.

According to a number of people with orders in place, Apple’s website now shows them as “Preparing for Dispatch” with an expected delivery date of February 9th. This would fit well with the shipping timescales of Apple’s other devices, including iPhones and iPads, and should see the smart speaker landing on the doorsteps of purchasers either on, or the day before launch day. Based on this we would expect the first wave of HomePods to begin shipping early next week ahead of delivery.

For anyone who has yet to place an order and is now in fear of missing out, the good news is that orders can still be placed right now. If you do, orders continue to show delivery dates of launch day, February 9th, with in-store pickup also an option for both the White and Space Gray options.

While there have been no full-on reviews of the HomePod yet, initial interactions that have been shared online claim the device to be a very good speaker indeed, perhaps making up for its lack of smart features when compared with the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home. In fact, one Reddit user who claims to have time with the HomePod claims that it “slaughters most speakers under $1000.”

Give it a week, and we will know whether this is all rhetoric or not.

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