Apple's HomePod reportedly pulled from holiday release, slated for 2018

Tim Cook Apple's chief executive gives a sneak peek of HomePod a speaker to rival Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at the Mc Enery Convention Center in San Jose Calif

Apple 's HomePod speaker won't be shipping in time for the holiday season.

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

The Cupertino, Calif. -based tech company said in a statement it simply needs "a little more time before it's ready for our customers", but failed to get into any specifics about the production delay, CNBC said. The smart speaker was due to launch in the US, UK, and Australia in December 2017, having been announced back in June alongside the iMac Pro at WWDC.

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Apple's "early 2018" target leaves plenty of wiggle room. At $329, HomePod was poised to be one of the pricier smart speakers on the market, but it touts superior sound quality. The speaker, which can make music suggestions and adjust home temperatures, takes aim at Amazon.com Inc's Alexa feature and Echo devices. Where Apple does fall short is providing a smart experience with Siri. Apple meant to release the $349 HomePod in early December so it could be on holiday shopping lists and compete against Amazon's Echo and the Google Home speaker. You can stream other services to it from a smartphone, but not with Siri. It's also possible-and I think more likely-Apple is having a tough time overcoming design issues.

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