Those purchasing Apple’s HomePod, the smart speaker taking on the Amazon Echo and Google Home, best ensure they wrap it in cotton wool. That’s because the company has revealed how much it will cost to repair the speaker if it’s damaged – and it’s extortionate.

There’s no denying that the Apple HomePod is a marvel of engineering, with early reviews suggesting it’s one of the best sounding smart speakers currently on the market. That goes some way to explain the cost of purchasing a HomePod, but can it justify the repair bill?

Apple’s support pages put repairing the HomePod at a hefty £268.44, which is £70 more than a single Sonos One, and almost the cost of three Amazon Echo speakers. Add on the £13 shipping fee for those who don’t live near an Apple Store, and you get a repair bill that’s almost as much as the £319 price for a brand-new HomePod.

Thankfully, users aren’t forced to pay that bill, as long as they do a little pre-planning. That’s because AppleCare makes a lot of sense in this instance. The £39 price for two years will ensure the HomePod is protected against damage, even if it’s accidental, and even with the £29 excess fee, the £68 cost for a repair is a lot more palatable.

Users will also avoid the sting of a large repair bill if the problem is isolated to the cable. The integrated HomePod cable can be repaired for just £25, although most users would still have preferred one that could be removed…

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