Apple HomePod smart speaker launch delayed until 2018

A prototype Apple Home Pod is seen during the annual Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose California

PREVIOUS | Apple's much-anticipated Siri-powered "smart speaker" broke cover overnight at Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose. The cost of the speakers was set to $349.

"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 an emailed statement.

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".

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The speaker also features "spatial awareness", which allows it to automatically tune the sound to the space that the speaker is in, along with a six-microphone array. 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. A lot of people would have included the Apple HomePod to their shopping list already.

The downside is that during all this time, there are many technological companies that have shown their novelties in the segment of smart loudspeakers. It was scheduled to ship in December, Apple said at the time.

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

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It's unclear why the product has been delayed, but it will miss the holiday rush.

The American company Apple has postponed the release date of its smart HomePod column from the end of 2017 to early 2018.

A United Kingdom price for the device is still to be confirmed, but it will be priced at $349 in the USA - significantly higher than both the Echo and Google Home. This year it has 27 million devices in homes of the US citizens. 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. It has to do with Apple delaying quite a few products which is not something unusual for them.

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