Apple Delays HomePod Launch

There will be no HomePods under Christmas trees this holiday season. Apple announced on Friday that it will postpone the launch of its first smart speaker to “early 2018.”

Announced in June, the $350 Siri-enabled speaker had been expected to ship in December.

“We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers,” Apple said in a statement. “We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.”

For fans of Apple products, the company did not elaborate on what “early 2018” means.

The delay gives Amazon an even bigger head start in the product category it created, controls with a market share estimated at 70-plus percent, and continues to aggressively expand. In October, Amazon added new and updated models to its Echo line of smart speakers. The market for smart speakers is growing so rapidly that 75 percent of U.S. households will have one by 2020, according to projections by research firm Gartner.

Related:

The Apple HomePod: The Coup D'état to Home Stereo

Apple HomePod: Apple Revisits Home Audio

Amazon Focuses on Alexa with New Echos

Google Steps Up its Smart Speaker Game

Smart Speakers Right at Home as Category Sizzles

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