Apple delays HomePod release until next early 2018

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We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers.

Apple introduced the voice-controlled HomePod in June.

Per a report from CNBC, Apple announced on Friday it will delay the release of the HomePod, a smart speaker set to directly compete with the Amazon Echo, until early 2018. And if you put two HomePods in the same room, both will be aware of the other's presence and will combine forces to improve the capability of the two devices.

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Did you want to wow someone special in your life with a new Apple HomePod speaker for the holidays? Priced at $349, Apple is setting the bar high for the smart speaker as a higher-end sound system like Sonos.

In a statement, Apple suggested production issues are to blame. Smart speakers use "always listening" microphones to detect commands, then talk back with a smart assistant, such as Siri or Alexa. Apple meant to release the $349 HomePod in early December so it could be on holiday shopping lists and compete against Amazon's Echo and the Google Home speaker. But voice control is created to work only with Apple Music, the company's $10 a month subscription service. 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. You can stream other services to it from a smartphone, but not with Siri.

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