Apple Delays HomePod Speaker to "Early 2018" for US, UK and Australia

Mandy Carr
November 18, 2017

In a statement released today, Apple says that while it can't wait for people to use the smart speaker, "we need a little more time until its ready for customers".

A prototype Apple HomePod is seen during the annual Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S. June 5, 2017.

It is the second year running Apple has been forced to delay the launch of an audio product, after its wireless earphones, the AirPods, where delayed in late 2016.

Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, called Apple's decision is a "smart move", that buys the company time to get it right.

"We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018". The Echo, along with the virtual assistant Alexa, became a surprise hit. From Amazon's new Echo lineup to Google Home and Google Home Mini, there's no shortage of more affordable smart speakers on the market, many of which will be discounted for Black Friday.

SAN JOSE CA- JUNE 05 A prototype of Apple's new Home Pod is displayed during the 2017 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference at the San Jose Convention Center
The coloured lights indicate Siri is listening

Apple's "early 2018" target leaves plenty of wiggle room. Apple introduced the speaker this year and was originally set to ship it next month, but the company said it was still working on the product.

"Last holiday season, smart speakers were huge, and this season they're going to be huge", O'Donnell said.

Apple is also counting on HomePod to boost subscriptions to Apple Music and block the rise of rival Spotify.

That's very different from the way other smart speakers integrate with third-party services.

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Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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