Apple postpones launch of HomePod speaker until 2018

Apple delays HomePod - its answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home - until early 2018

No HomePod for Christmas as Apple delays launch of smart speaker until 2018

The Siri-powered device was first announced at the company's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June, with the company promising availability in December in time for Christmas.

Apple said on Friday that it's delaying the launch of its HomePod smart speaker until next year.

AI Assistants are more used in smart speakers than phones. Amazon's Echo lineup and Alphabet Inc's Google Home speakers have been dominating the market and with a price tag of U.S. $349, the HomePod already have a stiff competition from its own price tag.

- If you were hoping to buy a HomePod for your honey this holiday season, you'll have to come up with plan b. But now it seems that Apple wants to make a product solid enough before users pay $349 for it.

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"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", Apple said in a statement. (Amazon Chief Executive Jeffrey Bezos is the owner of The Washington Post.) But Apple promised that the speaker would have all of Siri's smarts and stand out from the pack by offering superior sound quality. A Google Home Mini costs $49, but the company is also coming out with a higher-end version for $399. However, the tech giant has now said it will start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.

To recall the specifications of the HomePod as revealed by Apple, the device will be cylindrical in shape and will have a range of speakers and sub-woofers and microphones.

Inside it sports an Apple A8 microprocessor, which the company claims is "the biggest brain inside of a speaker".

It's unclear why the product has been delayed, but it will miss the holiday rush.

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