Apple's HomePod speaker delayed to 2018

Apple's HomePod delayed until next year

Apple said Friday it was delaying until early next year the release of its HomePod speaker set to compete with Amazon's Alexa-powered devices and Google Home as a smart home and music hub.

The spokesperson told The Verge the device will ship to the US, United Kingdom, and Australia in early 2018. The company has yet to explain key details of the HomePod's functionality to consumers, but documents shared with developers last month suggest that some of its core functionality will be limited to Apple services.

Both systems enable users to issue voice commands to the speaker for music control, as well as control other connected smart home appliances around the house.

Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, called Apple's decision is a "smart move", that buys the company time to get it right. It comes with built-in smart assistant like you find on Google Home and Amazon Echo. Apple has indefinitely delayed the release of HomePod until 2018.

VentureBeat has reached out to Apple for further comment on the cause of the delay.

HomePod is created to work with an Apple Music subscription and iPhone 5s and above running iOS 11. However, missing out on holiday gift purchases could mean some people opt for speakers from other companies, locking them more tightly into rival digital ecosystems. Competitors in the smart speaker space, meanwhile, are flooding the zone.

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