Apple has delayed the release of its HomePod speaker until 2018. In a statement to The Verge, Apple says that it needs more time to work on the HomePod. “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,” an Apple spokesperson said. “We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018."
The speaker was originally set to be released in December. Priced at $349, the HomePod is slated to take on higher-end sound systems like Sonos, as well as smart assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
The cylindrical speaker features a seven-speaker array of tweeters, a four-inch subwoofer, and a six-microphone array, which puts it right on par spec-wise with the best speakers in its price range, but where it may fall short is Siri, which isn’t really in the same class as Alexa or Google Assistant. That challenge is likely why Apple’s focus at the launch of the HomePod back at WWDC in June was music first and smart features second.
It’s unclear exactly why Apple had to push back the release of the HomePod, but pulling out of the holiday rush isn’t something that any company takes lightly. With no firm release date — early 2018 is vague at best — it could be a while before we actually see the HomePod on sale.