Published: Mon, November 20, 2017
Industry | By Faith Ward

Apple delays launch of HomePod smart speaker

Apple delays launch of HomePod smart speaker

However, Apple has been keen to market the HomePod as an upgrade on home music systems rather than just its built in assistant, calling it a system that will "reinvent" music listening at home.

- If you were hoping to buy a HomePod for your honey this holiday season, you'll have to come up with plan b.

Knowing Apple and their delays, the HomePod could take time before hitting the stores. The issue is not about the company missing out on the 2017 holiday sales with Apple HomePod.

The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December. A Google Home Mini costs $49, but the company is also coming out with a higher-end version for $399.

We need a little more time before it's ready for our customers.

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The Apple HomePod has been delayed to early 2018, giving rivals Amazon and Google a huge advantage in the smart speaker race.

Inside the mesh-wrapped 18cm cylinder - which is not much taller than an iPhone 7 - is Apple's A8 processor (the same silicon powerplant as the iPhone 6 series) perched atop an array of speakers and microphones. They can play music, spit out trivia, manage shopping lists and put things on your calendar. Apple said it can detect where its located in a room and adjust its sound accordingly.

People use voice assistants more often on smart speakers than on phones, so even if owners of Amazon or Google speakers also have an iPhone, there's a good chance that they're talking to Alexa or Google Assistant as much or more than Siri. Apple's new smart speaker will not arrive in time for the holidays as scheduled.

Highlighting the security of HomePod at the launch, the company said: "The device will always listen for a "Hey, Siri" prompt to activate, information won't be sent to Apple's servers until after that command is heard".

Inside it sports an Apple A8 microprocessor, which the company claims is "the biggest brain inside of a speaker". But now it seems that Apple wants to make a product solid enough before users pay $349 for it.

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