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Apple delays the release of HomePod,

20 November 2017

- If you were hoping to buy a HomePod for your honey this holiday season, you'll have to come up with plan b. Along with the bad publicity that comes from having to delay a product announced months ago, Apple also faces the sting of losing out on HomePod sales for what is its busiest time of the year.

Tech giant Apple Inc. has delayed the launch of its much awaited smart speaker and next major new hardware product, the HomePod speaker, until 2018.

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Bob O'Donnell, founder of Technalysis Research, said, "Apple has forecast between $84 billion and $87 billion in revenue for the holiday - mostly driven by sales of its $999 iPhone X - so it's unlikely that missing a few weeks of sales of its $349 speaker will affect its financial results". Amazon invented the category in 2015 with the Echo, and there are now similar options available from Google, Microsoft and Sonos. Amazon's Echo line starts at $50. "We will begin shipping to the US, UK and Australia in early 2018".

In a statement to The Verge, Apple said that it needs more time to work on the HomePod.

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The HomePod looks like an oversized toilet paper roll covered in mesh fabric.

The former get sound flowing throughout the room; the later detect voice commands starting with "Hey Siri" to perform tasks ranging from playing music to driving HomeKit-compatible devices such as Philips Hue LED lighting.

But unlike other companies, Apple is hesitant to open up its speaker to third-party developers. The big question in everyone's mind is how good would be the SIRI personal assistant on the HomePod and if it will match up with the dynamic properties of Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant. Also, the Echo Plus, which will enable the control of connected devices in our home. But voice control is created to work only with Apple Music, the company's $10 a month subscription service.

It's unclear why the product has been delayed, but it will miss the holiday rush. But now it seems that Apple wants to make a product solid enough before users pay $349 for it.

Apple delays the release of HomePod,