Apple's HomePod reportedly pulled from holiday release, slated for 2018

Apple's HomePod reportedly pulled from holiday release, slated for 2018

Apple said its next major new hardware product, the HomePod speaker, is being delayed until early next year, missing the key holiday shopping season. Apple has indefinitely delayed the release of HomePod until 2018. Amazon created Alexa for the Echo, and the virtual assistant has gone on to be the big breakout tech star of 2017.

The spokesperson told The Verge the device will ship to the US, United Kingdom, and Australia in early 2018. Amazon's Echo line starts at $50.

In a statement, Apple suggested production issues are to blame.

In June, some analysts questioned whether a December launch was already too late for Apple to compete with Amazon and Google for the connected home market. With Apple's delay, "there will now be some people who make a different choice".

Apple's HomePod delayed until next year
Apple HomePod delayed until next year because developers need “more time” to work on it

Apple is also counting on HomePod to boost subscriptions to Apple Music and block the rise of rival Spotify. Where Apple does fall short is providing a smart experience with Siri.

The $349 HomePod was unveiled in June and pitched as a premium music speaker with Siri voice controls.

But Apple could still have a surprise or two in store. Well, if you've been waiting for the company to release it, you're going to have to wait a bit more now.

More news: USA eyes N.Korea talks if missile tests end