Apple's HomePod speaker isn't coming out this year

Phillip Butler
November 18, 2017

Apple says it's delaying the HomePod release until early next year to get everything right.

The delay announced Friday means Apple's HomePod speaker won't be available in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia until early next year. Smart speakers use "always listening" microphones to detect commands, then talk back with a smart assistant, such as Siri or Alexa.

The spokesperson told The Verge the device will ship to the US, United Kingdom, and Australia in early 2018. Apple's HomePod is aware of how big the room is where it is being placed, and adjusts the sound accordingly for the best experience. Amazon added three smart speaker products for its holiday lineup - the second-generation Echo, the Echo Plus and the Echo Spot - two of which are already on the market.

Apple was originally planning to release the HomePod in December, but has now delayed it until 2018.

But Apple is late to a marketplace dominated by Amazon and Google, with a handful of other players entering the race. The company gave scant details about its speaker in June, leaving it room to announce exclusive music content or other unexpected features, said Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner.

Apple is also counting on HomePod to boost subscriptions to Apple Music and block the rise of rival Spotify. Competitors in the smart speaker space, meanwhile, are flooding the zone.

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