- If you were hoping to buy a HomePod for your honey this holiday season, you'll have to come up with plan b.
Missing out on the lucrative Christmas market will undoubtedly hurt Apple a little, but in the long term the delay is unlikely to affect the overall popularity of the HomePod.
Apple has delayed the launch of its HomePod smart speaker until early 2018, the technology giant has said.
While the speakers may be class apart, Apple may fall short of providing good assistance with Siri.
The device itself will measure around seven-inches (just under 18cm) tall, and Apple has defended its dustbin-like design by burbling on about its "seamless 3D mesh fabric" as having acoustic properties. Amazon invented the category in 2015 with the Echo, and there are now similar options available from Google, Microsoft and Sonos. Apple's statement on Friday about the HomePod delay seems to be lifted nearly directly from its AirPods delay announcement in October 2016, which said: "We don't believe in shipping a product before it's ready, and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers".
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"We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018".
Smart speakers use "always listening" microphones to detect commands, then talk back with a smart assistant, such as Siri or Alexa. It will provide 360-degree sound promising a solid range with deep lows, and spatial awareness to sense its location in a room that allows it to adjust accordingly to such.
Inside it sports an Apple A8 microprocessor, which the company claims is "the biggest brain inside of a speaker". Although developers can make apps for Siri and HomePod, they're now limited to building things like lists, notes, and messaging. Also, the Echo Plus, which will enable the control of connected devices in our home.
First Apple risked a major delay with the latest iPhone 8 and X as they played with trying to integrate the fingerprint sensor into the screen and couldn't quite pull it off. But now it seems that Apple wants to make a product solid enough before users pay $349 for it.