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Huawei has cloned the Apple HomePod

Huawei has unveiled a new smart speaker with a design that’s clearly, to put it politely, inspired by Apple’s HomePod.

Announced at the company’s Mate 20 event in China, the new Huawei AI Speaker (to translate its native name) offers the same cylindrical design as Apple’s effort, with top controls to boot.

In other ways, the AI Speaker is nothing like its Apple-made counterpart. Namely, in terms of the price. It costs 399 yuan, which is around £46/$60, compared with the £319/£349 Apple asks for the premium-sounding HomePod.

Huawei says its device brings some powerful audio tech of its own into play. The Histen music equaliser and booster is carried over from the company’s phones, while there’s 10W of power and two bass radiators.

Engadget China was there for the launch, where Huawei said the speaker will deliver natural sounding audio with powerful bass performance. There are also six microphones and voice print recognition for integration with the company’s Xiaoyi assistant.

Related: Google Home vs Amazon Echo

The launch comes after Huawei unveiled its first smart speaker, the AI Cube, which also happened to be a 4G modem, Wi-Fi router in the style of a Google Home Mini speaker.

There’s no word on whether Huawei will seek to launch the product outside of its homeland. However, given the oversees view of Huawei’s products, it’s unlikely there’ll be much appetite for retailers in the UK and US to jump on board with this one.

Regardless, Huawei’s Irish PR arm might want to wind its neck in with some of its recent stunts, in light of this. Following the iPhone Xs launch last month, the public relations bods took aim at Apple for a perceived lack of innovation. How do you say “irony” in Chinese, guys?

Which smart speaker sits proudly in your home? Have you been converted by Apple’s HomePod after starting the journey with an Amazon Echo? Which is the best personal assistant? Let us know your thoughts @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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