Apple delays HomePod speaker, leaving high-end smart speaker market to Sonos, Google

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Apple has delayed the launch of its HomePod smart speaker until early 2018, the technology giant has said. Competitors in the smart speaker space, meanwhile, are flooding the zone.

The Cupertino, Calif. -based tech company said in a statement it simply needs "a little more time before it's ready for our customers", but failed to get into any specifics about the production delay, CNBC said.

Apple first debuted the HomePod in June at its annual WWDC developer conference. This is speculation, of course - unless Apple provides more information, we may never know the reason behind the delay.

Apple's HomePod delayed until next year

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. Though the smart speaker market is relatively new, the holiday season is traditionally the biggest time of year for sales. "The market's getting more and more competitive". Apple is pushing HomePod's release to 2018. HomePod will work with Apple's HomeKit platform to control smart-home devices. 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.

But Apple could still have a surprise or two in store.

If you've been saving up your pennies to buy a HomePod before the end of the year put on your patience trousers because that's not happening.

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