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Apple's HomePod Smart Speaker Delayed Until 2018

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Apple's HomePod delayed until next year

Besides the Amazon Echo, other smart speakers include the Google Home series, the Microsoft Invoke, and upcoming models expected from Samsung (using Bixby) and Sony. Apple hasn't been shy about talking up HomePod's audiophile credentials, squeezing six tweeters and a long-throw woofer - each powered by its own, custom amplifier - into the squat cylindrical design. With Apple's delay, "there will now be some people who make a different choice". But the Cupertino, CA-based Apple says the device needs a little more tinkering.

Today, it conceded it will "need a little more time" before HomePod is ready for public consumption.

HomePod is only the second speaker in the history of Apple. Priced at $349, Apple is setting the bar high for the smart speaker as a higher-end sound system like Sonos.

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"We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018". Where Apple does fall short is providing a smart experience with Siri. Smart speakers from Google and Amazon let users give voice commands to play Spotify, but Apple Music does not work on the rival devices. Amazon created Alexa for the Echo, and the virtual assistant has gone on to be the big breakout tech star of 2017.

All that being said "early 2018" is also quite the vague target date; hopefully we won't have to wait beyond January or February.

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