Apple pushes launch of HomePod smart speaker to early 2018

Lena Tucker
Ноября 18, 2017

Apple may be missing the holiday shopping season by delaying its HomePod until 2018, but that decision could pay dividends if it makes Siri a better assistant.

The delay announced Friday means Apple's HomePod speaker won't be available in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia until early next year. When the company announced HomePod in June as a higher-fidelity answer to Amazon's Echo and Google Home - and its Siri personal digital assistant on board - December had been its scheduled release. Apple's accessory business, part of its Other Products segment, is minuscule compared to the iPhone and Services businesses, so the delay is unlikely to materially affect Apple's earnings. Apple is pushing HomePod's release to 2018. Apple introduced the speaker this year and was originally set to ship it next month, but the company said it was still working on the product. "We'll start shipping in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia in early 2018".

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Both systems enable users to issue voice commands to the speaker for music control, as well as control other connected smart home appliances around the house. Amazon added three smart speaker products for its holiday lineup - the second-generation Echo, the Echo Plus and the Echo Spot - two of which are already on the market. 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.

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