Science

Apple delays launch of HomePod until 'early 2018'

Apple delays launch of HomePod until 'early 2018'

If you've been saving up your pennies to buy a HomePod before the end of the year put on your patience trousers because that's not happening. A December HomePod ship date was already a significantly longer gap than most Apple products have between announcement and shipping, and that gap is widening even further. Apples accessory business, part of its Other Products segment, is minuscule compared to the iPhone and Services businesses, so the delay is unlikely to materially affect Apples earnings. From Amazon's new Echo lineup to Google Home and Google Home Mini, there's no shortage of more affordable smart speakers on the market, many of which will be discounted for Black Friday. Amazon invented the category in 2015 with the Echo, and there are now similar options available from Google, Microsoft and Sonos.

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. "We'll start shipping in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia in early 2018". The HomePod looks like an oversized toilet paper roll covered in mesh fabric. HomePod promises to automatically configure itself according to the room it's in, too, using a microphone to adjust its equalizer settings and DSP depending on whether it's on a bookshelf, a table in the middle of a room, or competing with a second HomePod. Although developers can make apps for Siri and HomePod, they're now limited to building things like lists, notes, and messaging.

Phil Schiller of Apple with the HomePod Apple's new $349 speaker that will use its Siri smart assistant
Phil Schiller of Apple with the HomePod Apple's new $349 speaker that will use its Siri smart assistant

Apple is also counting on HomePod to boost subscriptions to Apple Music and block the rise of rival Spotify. You can stream other services to it from a smartphone, but not with Siri.


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