If you are waiting to buy HomePod as a gift in the holiday shopping reason, you may be disappointed. Apple delayed the release of its HomePod speaker until 2018. The company said in a statement that it needed more time to get HomePod ready.
“We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers. We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.”
HomePod was announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, with a promised release date in December and a price of $349. Powered by Apple’s A8 chip, the cylindrical speaker features a seven-speaker array of tweeters, a four-inch subwoofer, and a six-microphone array. HomePod also serves as a “Hey Siri” assistant and HomeKit hub. The high-fidelity speaker likely has 1GB of RAM.
Apple did not provide a specific reason for the delay. This is the first entry for Apple to step into the smart speaker market, and it has to get everything ready for the final release. The delay means HomePod will miss out the potential sales during this year’s holiday season, while its competitors like Amazon’s Echo Plus, Google’s Home Max and Sonos One are expected to further entrench themselves in the emerging market. Though HomePod is postponed, you have plenty of alternatives around.
At its announcement, HomePod was the only AI-equipped smart speaker offering a premium music experience. But since then, Google soon announced the Google Home Max, a music-oriented smart speaker seemingly aimed directly at competing with the HomePod, while Sonos released the Sonos One speaker as a platform to any voice assistant. It seems like HomePod will face a tougher battle than it did beforehand.