Apple delays HomePod until 2018

Home Pod speaker in June and had said the product would ship by the end of the year. Credit Jim Wilson  The

Home Pod speaker in June and had said the product would ship by the end of the year. Credit Jim Wilson The

The Cupertino, Calif. -based tech company said in a statement it simply needs "a little more time before it's ready for our customers", but failed to get into any specifics about the production delay, CNBC said.

The Siri-backed smart speaker, which Apple unveiled in June, was supposed to make its in December, but as we learned today, that will not be happening. Apple said it can detect where its located in a room and adjust its sound accordingly. Apple is working to keep its Siri voice assistant relevant in the face of competition from Amazon's Alexa and Alphabet Inc's Google Assistant, both of which are featured on smart speakers from those companies. "We'll start shipping in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia in early 2018", Apple said in a statement Friday. Apple's HomePod was previously slated to be released this December.

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Now Apple will also miss out on selling HomePod during the holiday shopping season, the most lucrative time of year for electronics makers.

Apple touted the HomePod's superior audio quality when it first announced the product in June, but competitors have been catching up on that front as well. But voice control is created to work only with Apple Music, the company's $10 a month subscription service. But unlike other companies, Apple is hesitant to open up its speaker to third-party developers.

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The Homepod is a cylindrical smart speaker that features seven-speaker arrayu of tweeters, a four-inch subwoofer, and a six-microphone array.

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