Apple pushes back its HomePod launch until "early" 2018

Herbert Rhodes
November 18, 2017

In a statement released today, Apple says that while it can't wait for people to use the smart speaker, "we need a little more time until its ready for customers".

"We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018". The company has yet to explain key details of the HomePod's functionality to consumers, but documents shared with developers last month suggest that some of its core functionality will be limited to Apple services.

Earlier this year, Amazon announced the Echo Plus, a smart speaker with better audio quality, and Google confirmed to Reuters that its Home Max speaker with improved speakers will ship in December, though it has not given a specific date. Now that mid November has rolled around and there isn't a HomePod in sight Apple is saying its release time table was a little off. The Echo, along with the virtual assistant Alexa, became a surprise hit.

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Apple's "early 2018" target leaves plenty of wiggle room.

The delay is unfortunate for anyone who needed $349 worth of Siri in their homes, but it's also a bad look for Apple's wireless audio division.

Smart speakers will be a key focus for the holiday shopping season given the influx of devices coming from other players like Google,, and Sonos. Apple said that its smart speaker will be able to control home appliances and take basic orders. Competitors in the smart speaker space, meanwhile, are flooding the zone.

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