Apple HomePod Speaker Delayed, Will Miss Holiday Shopping Season

Apple's HomePod delayed until next year

Apple's HomePod was previously slated to be released this December. The device was scheduled to launch sometime next month, priced at $349.

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

The HomePod, which streams tunes from Apple Music, takes voice commands via Siri, and controls smart home appliances, was originally announced in June at the companys annual developer conference. In its most basic form, the product couples a speaker with a virtual assistant. Besides being employed on the Echo devices, Alexa is now found on the HTC U11, Huawei Mate 9 and as a Moto Mod modular accessory for the Moto Z series handsets. A Google Home Mini costs $49, but the company is also coming out with a higher-end version for $399. Under the hood, the HomePod runs an Apple A8 chip and features an upward-facing subwoofer. The speaker is equipped with a 4-inch woofer, six microphones and an array of seven tweeters.

The delay could be related to obtaining the raw materials for the HomePod's components, as John Martellaro suggested on Friday's TMO Daily Observations podcast.

If you were hoping to buy a HomePod for your honey this holiday season, you'll have to come up with plan b.

Today, it conceded it will "need a little more time" before HomePod is ready for public consumption. 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.

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