Apple delays HomePod release until 2018

Home Pod speaker in June and had said the product would ship by the end of the year. Credit Jim Wilson  The

Apple has told CNBC it has delayed its HomePod smart speaker until "early 2018" as it's not quite ready yet. 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. We'll start shipping in the USA, United Kingdom and Australia in early 2018. Apple meant to release the $349 HomePod in early December so it could be on holiday shopping lists and compete against Amazon's Echo and the Google Home speaker.

While Amazon and Google have released no specific sales figures, a survey by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners showed Amazon Echo having an installed base of 20 million units in the United States, or 73 percent of the market, at the end of the third quarter. You better come up with another gift, because HomePod won't be released in time. The HomePod looks like an oversized toilet paper roll covered in mesh fabric.

HomePod has Siri built-in for voice control using a six-microphone array which makes it a smart speaker. Apple said it can detect where its located in a room and adjust its sound accordingly.

HomePod is created to work with an Apple Music subscription and iPhone 5s and above running iOS 11.

However, in a statement, the tech firm said it needed more time to get the device ready. You can stream other services to it from a smartphone, but not with Siri.

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