Apple's HomePod is delayed until early next year

Apple's HomePod delayed until next year

Apple's HomePod delayed until next year

Apple on Friday delayed the pending release of its high-end HomePod connected speaker until 2018, saying it wasn't ready for shipment.

The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December.

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The Cupertino, Calif. -based tech company said in a statement it simply needs "a little more time before it's ready for our customers", but failed to get into any specifics about the production delay, CNBC said. "We'll start shipping in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia in early 2018", Apple said in a statement Friday. Apple has indefinitely delayed the release of HomePod until 2018. But Apple promised that the speaker would have all of Siri's smarts and stand out from the pack by offering superior sound quality. The Echo, along with the virtual assistant Alexa, became a surprise hit. Smart speakers from Google and Amazon let users give voice commands to play Spotify, but Apple Music does not work on the rival devices. These specs puts it on par with some of the best speakers available on the market in its price range.

It's not clear exactly what issues led to Apple's decision. With a device like a smart speaker, which packages not only music but voice control and home automation into a single device, there's no shortage of places where hold-ups could be introduced. If HomePod isn't shipping by March we may be waiting until late June before it shows up on store shelves. We also send freebies and lots of other goodies exclusively to our email subscribers.

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