Apple HomePod Release Delayed Until 2018

Apple Home Pod delay price features

Though the smart speaker market is relatively new, the holiday season is traditionally the biggest time of year for sales.

The delay announced Friday means Apple's HomePod speaker won't be available in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia until early next year. (Amazon Chief Executive Jeffrey Bezos is the owner of The Washington Post.) But Apple promised that the speaker would have all of Siri's smarts and stand out from the pack by offering superior sound quality. 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. The company is delaying the commercial availability of the device until next year, it announced Friday morning.

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 per cent of the market, at the end of the third quarter. "We'll start shipping in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia in early 2018". The HomePod will also have to compete with recently released devices like the Alexa-enabled Sonos One speaker.

The speaker, which was announced at WWDC 2017, was previously due to be released in December 2017.

Norway's pension fund could cut billions in oil stocks to spread risk
The proposal has to be reviewed by the Finance Ministry, which in turn needs to decide whether to propose it to parliament. The Stoxx Europe 600 oil and gas index reversed gains after the announcement, sliding 0.4% as of 1.14pm in London.

HomePod is only the second speaker in the history of Apple.

It's not clear what the cause for the delay is, especially since the speaker was revealed all the way back in June.

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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