Apple pushes back its HomePod launch until "early" 2018

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Apple now says it needs more time to ideal the speaker's technology.

Apple has told CNBC it has delayed its HomePod smart speaker until "early 2018" as it's not quite ready yet. "We'll start shipping in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia in early 2018". Apple HomePod will be its first big new hardware product since the Apple Watch.

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Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, called Apple's decision is a "smart move", that buys the company time to get it right.

However, Apple has been keen to market the HomePod as an upgrade on home music systems rather than just its built in assistant, calling it a system that will "reinvent" music listening at home. 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 sets no firm date and just states vaguely that they are planning a release for early 2018. You better come up with another gift, because HomePod won't be released in time. If HomePod isn't shipping by March we may be waiting until late June before it shows up on store shelves. Missing the holidays could be a major setback for the smart speaker, which will compete with Amazon's Echo series, Google's Home series, and other several other smart speakers on the market. We also send freebies and lots of other goodies exclusively to our email subscribers.

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