Apple's HomePod is delayed until early next year

Apple’s Home Pod delay is the right decision

With the delay, Apple will miss the chance to hook consumers with the speaker during the crucial holiday season.

Apple has announced that its HomePod smart speaker will not arrive before the holidays and has been delayed until next year.

The company is touting the HomePod as a high-fidelity speaker programmed to learn people's tastes so it can become a digital disc jockey that can automatically play tunes that its listeners will like.

The HomePod, which streams tunes from Apple Music, takes voice commands via Siri, and controls smart home appliances, was originally announced in June at the company's annual developer conference. The device uses the A8 chip that was deployed on the Apple iPhone 6. Competitors in the smart speaker space, meanwhile, are flooding the zone.

The spokesperson told The Verge the device will ship to the US, United Kingdom, and Australia in early 2018.

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OK, Google, and hey, Alexa.

Apple has pushed back the release of its smart speaker, the Home Pod - now saying the device isn't expected until next year.

Apple's main pitch for its HomePod smart speakers was superior audio quality, but that advantage appears to be slipping: Sonos, which also pitches its speakers' audio quality for music lovers, now features support for the Alexa voice assistant.

Next month, Google's Home Max speaker that likewise focuses on audio quality, and the Amazon Echo Spot, a mini speaker with a screen, go on sale.

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