Apple's HomePod smart speaker won't launch in time for the holidays


Apple has forecast between US$84 billion and US$87 billion in revenue for the holiday - mostly driven by sales of its US$999 iPhone X - so it's unlikely that missing a few weeks of sales of its US$349 speaker will affect its financial results, Bob O'Donnell, founder of Technalysis Research, said.

Instead of being available in December, it will ship early next year, the company told CNN Tech. It's not clear whether this is an issue with software, hardware, or production, but a delay is a delay.

While the speakers may be class apart, Apple may fall short of providing good assistance with Siri. Amazon invented the category in 2015 with the Echo, and there are now similar options available from Google, Microsoft and Sonos. The second-generation Amazon Echo offers improved sound quality with a lower price tag of $99, while the Google Home Max is a $399 device that is prepared to be a direct challenger to the HomePod. A Google Home Mini costs $49, but the company is also coming out with a higher-end version for $399.

"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", the Apple spokesperson burbled. "We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018", Apple said in a statement. They can play music, spit out trivia, manage shopping lists and put things on your calendar.

Apple announced the device at its developer conference in June. HomePod's Siri is not exactly like the Google Assistant or Alexa.

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HomePod will work with Apple's HomeKit platform to control smart-home devices.

Apple's AI-based home speaker project, HomePod appears to be stuck with some delays and the product may be launched only next year.

"When HomePod comes out, you'll probably hear some great content from artists that are familiar and popular, and there's probably going to be some other special aspects as well", he said.

Every company is aware of the holiday rush and its importance for increasing sales. But now it seems that Apple wants to make a product solid enough before users pay $349 for it.