Apple has confirmed its HomePod device will be delayed until 2018.
It had been thought the wireless speaker would arrive before the end of the year, but the company told Silicon it still needed more development time.
“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,” said an Apple spokesperson. “We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.”
HomePod was first shown off at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) and is intended as a rival to Google Home and Amazon Echo, both of which have brought the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa virtual assistants into the home.
Apple is keen to ensure its Siri assistant isn’t left behind as others expand their hardware range, hence the desire to release a competitor.
Sporting a healthy hardware specification in the form of seven tweeters, a six microphone array, and Apple’s A8 mobile processor, the HomePod has the hardware guts to workout how to balance sound playback for the room it is in and carry out voice-controlled functions such as relay the weather forecast, set reminders, send messages and provide stocks and sports updates, all via Siri.
The HomePod is more expensive than its rivals, costing £349 (£270) but is hoping its superior audio quality will win over consumers. It will also likely be the device of choice for those heavily locked into Apple’s ecosystem of devices and services.
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