Sci-tech

Apple Officially Delays HomePod Launch Until 2018

Apple Officially Delays HomePod Launch Until 2018

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

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. 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.

Did you want to wow someone special in your life with a new Apple HomePod speaker for the holidays? The company says that it needs more time to work on the smart speaker.

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

Apple announced the device at its developer conference in June.

OK, Google, and hey, Alexa.

Apple's main pitch for its HomePod smart speakers was superior audio quality, but that advantage appears to be slipping: Sonos, which also pitches its speakers' audio quality for music lovers, now features support for the Alexa voice assistant. When the company announced HomePod in June as a higher-fidelity answer to Amazon's Echo and Google Home - and its Siri personal digital assistant on board - December had been its scheduled release.

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.


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