You better come up with another gift, because HomePod won't be released in time. Priced at $349, Apple is setting the bar high for the smart speaker as a higher-end sound system like Sonos. Apple says it's delaying the HomePod release until early next year to get everything right.
VentureBeat has reached out to Apple for further comment on the cause of the delay.
The HomePod, which streams tunes from Apple Music, takes voice commands via Siri, and controls smart home appliances, was originally announced in June at the companys annual developer conference.
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. Amazon's Echo line starts at $50.
Apple now says it needs more time to ideal the speaker's technology. We'll start shipping in the USA, United Kingdom and Australia in early 2018. The HomePod looks like an oversized toilet paper roll covered in mesh fabric.
In a statement to TechCrunch the company said... Although developers can make apps for Siri and HomePod, they're now limited to building things like lists, notes, and messaging. But voice control is created to work only with Apple Music, the company's $10 a month subscription service. Siri hasn't been able to keep up with other assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. It's unclear why the product has been delayed, but it will miss the holiday rush.