Apple Delays HomePod Speaker to "Early 2018" for US, UK and Australia

Janie Parker
November 18, 2017

If you were planning on purchasing the Apple HomePod next month, you are going to have to wait. Apple has indefinitely delayed the release of HomePod until 2018. But the Cupertino, CA-based Apple says the device needs a little more tinkering. Priced at $349, Apple is setting the bar high for the smart speaker as a higher-end sound system like Sonos. Competitors in the smart speaker space, meanwhile, are flooding the zone. These specs puts it on par with some of the best speakers available on the market in its price range. HomePod will work with Apple's HomeKit platform to control smart-home devices.

For instance, consumers will be able to request songs and playlists from Apple Music, but third-party support for voice commands is limited to a small number of app categories that could leave Spotify and others in the cold. Today, it conceded it will "need a little more time" before HomePod is ready for public consumption.

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Apple touted the HomePod's superior audio quality when it first announced the product in June, but competitors have been catching up on that front as well. Apple sets no firm date and just states vaguely that they are planning a release for early 2018. If HomePod isn't shipping by March we may be waiting until late June before it shows up on store shelves. Apple is working to keep its Siri voice assistant relevant in the face of competition from Amazon's Alexa and Alphabet Inc's Google Assistant, both of which are featured on smart speakers from those companies.

If you were hoping to buy a HomePod for your honey this holiday season, you'll have to come up with plan b.

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