Published: Sat, November 18, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Apple delays HomePod release until next early 2018

Apple delays HomePod release until next early 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 speaker, which will house Apple's voice-controlled virtual assistant Siri and be used to stream music, had been scheduled to launch in December in the UK. The company didn't give a reason for the delay, other than the product needing "a little more time before it's ready for our customers".

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In a statement, Apple suggested production issues are to blame.

Apple's "early 2018" target leaves plenty of wiggle room.

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Earlier this year, Amazon announced the Echo Plus, a smart speaker with better audio quality, and Google confirmed to Reuters that its Home Max speaker with improved speakers will ship in December, though it has not given a specific date. Missing the holidays could be a major setback for the smart speaker, which will compete with Amazon's Echo series, Google's Home series, and other several other smart speakers on the market.

The company is touting the HomePod as a high-fidelity speaker programmed to learn people's tastes so it can become a digital disc jockey that can automatically play tunes that its listeners will like.

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Now Apple will also miss out on selling HomePod during the holiday shopping season, the most lucrative time of year for electronics makers. Apple hasn't been shy about talking up HomePod's audiophile credentials, squeezing six tweeters and a long-throw woofer - each powered by its own, custom amplifier - into the squat cylindrical design. Smart speakers from Google and Amazon let users give voice commands to play Spotify, but Apple Music does not work on the rival devices.

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