Apple delays HomePod
Echo rival now not expected until 2018
Apple has pushed back the release of its smart speaker, the Home Pod — now saying the device isn't expected until next year.
The company's late to market smart speaker is meant to be a rival to Amazon's Echo and Google Home. But the Cupertino, CA-based Apple says the device needs a little more tinkering.
"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. "We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018."
Apple first unveiled HomePod in June, during the company's two-hour marathon WorldWide Developers Conference. Pricing the smart speaker at $349 pushed it into the higher-end of pricing for smart speaker devices. But Apple is hardly uncomfortable occupying that space, with the iPhone X and its $999 starting price tag as evidence.
The push back for HomePod means Apple will miss holiday sales — and thousands of people buying their first voice-enabled speaker. Google's Home Max, priced at $399, is still expected to be available by year's end.