Apple delays HomePod speaker, leaving high-end smart speaker market to Sonos, Google

Apple delays HomePod speaker, leaving high-end smart speaker market to Sonos, Google

Apple on Friday delayed the pending release of its high-end HomePod connected speaker until 2018, saying it wasn't ready for shipment.

The Siri-backed smart speaker, which Apple unveiled in June, was supposed to make its in December, but as we learned today, that will not be happening. At $329, HomePod was poised to be one of the pricier smart speakers on the market, but it touts superior sound quality.

Apple now says it needs more time to flawless the speaker's technology.

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"Last holiday season, smart speakers were huge, and this season they're going to be huge", O'Donnell said.

It's unclear what has caused the delay, however it's likely that the hold-up has been caused within production.

HomePod is only the second speaker in the history of Apple. Apple is working to keep its Siri voice assistant relevant in the face of competition from Amazon's Alexa and Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc's Google Assistant, both of which are featured on smart speakers from those companies.

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Besides the Amazon Echo, other smart speakers include the Google Home series, the Microsoft Invoke, and upcoming models expected from Samsung (using Bixby) and Sony. If HomePod isn't shipping by March we may be waiting until late June before it shows up on store shelves.

Apple's HomePod speaker will reportedly be released in 2018, technology website The Verge reports. We also send freebies and lots of other goodies exclusively to our email subscribers.

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