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Apple delays launch of HomePod until 'early 2018'

18 November 2017

Apple confirmed on Friday its expensive Siri-powered smart speaker has been delayed.

The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December.

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. Apple has indefinitely delayed the release of HomePod until 2018. Amazon created Alexa for the Echo, and the virtual assistant has gone on to be the big breakout tech star of 2017. Competitors in the smart speaker space, meanwhile, are flooding the zone. Where Apple does fall short is providing a smart experience with Siri.

Apple is putting the brakes on the arrival this year of HomePod, its much-ballyhooed rival to Amazon's Echo smart speaker.

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But Apple is late to a marketplace dominated by Amazon and Google, with a handful of other players entering the race. It's also possible-and I think more likely-Apple is having a tough time overcoming design issues.

For instance, consumers will be able to request songs and playlists from Apple Music, but third-party support for voice commands is limited to a small number of app categories that could leave Spotify and others in the cold. HomePod will be a while before we see it on sale and available to the public. You better come up with another gift, because HomePod won't be released in time.

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Apple delays launch of HomePod until 'early 2018'