Apple delays launch of HomePod until 'early 2018'

Apple Home Pod delay price features

Apple Home Pod delay price features

Apple says it's delaying the HomePod release until early next year to get everything right.

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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. Apple's 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 Apple's earnings. At that time, Apple said the smart speaker would go on sale by the end of 2017 for $349. Competitors in the smart speaker space, meanwhile, are flooding the zone. The company has yet to explain key details of the HomePod's functionality to consumers, but documents shared with developers last month suggest that some of its core functionality will be limited to Apple services. Smart speakers from Google and Amazon let users give voice commands to play Spotify, but Apple Music does not work on the rival devices. You can stream other services to it from a smartphone, but not with Siri. Today, it conceded it will "need a little more time" before HomePod is ready for public consumption. You better come up with another gift, because HomePod won't be released in time. If HomePod isn't shipping by March we may be waiting until late June before it shows up on store shelves.

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