Apple is delaying its HomePod smart speaker until 'early 2018'

Joanna Estrada
November 18, 2017

Apple Inc however, has made a decision to evade this season and wait till early next year to launch its much awaited foray into the smart speaker industry.

With the delay, Apple will miss the chance to hook consumers with the speaker during the crucial holiday season.

In a statement to CNBC, Apple said that it needs a little more time to make HomePod ready for the customers.

They continued: "We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018". Like its competitors, the speaker is controlled by Apple's AI assistant - Siri - which can do things such as read out the news, send iMessages and arrange music play lists.

In June, some analysts questioned whether a December launch was already too late for Apple to compete with Amazon and Google for the connected home market.

Apple announced the device at its developer conference in June. It was scheduled to ship in December, Apple said at the time.

The speaker also features "spatial awareness", which allows it to automatically tune the sound to the space that the speaker is in, along with a six-microphone array. From Amazon's new Echo lineup to Google Home and Google Home Mini, there's no shortage of more affordable smart speakers on the market, many of which will be discounted for Black Friday.

"Just like iPod reinvented music in our pockets, HomePod is going to reinvent music in our homes", Apple marketing head Phil Schiller said at the time. Apple's accessory business, part of its Other Products segment, is minuscule compared to the iPhone and Services businesses, so the delay is unlikely to materially affect Apple's earnings.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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