Apple Delays HomePod Siri AI Smart Speaker Until Next Year

homepod white shelf
If you were hoping to get a HomePod smart speaker to round out the Apple hardware ecosystem in your home in time for Christmas, you will have to wait a bit longer. Apple originally unveiled HomePod way back in June at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, and said that it would ship in December.

However, Apple today confirmed that HomePod will miss the holiday shopping rush. “We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers," said Apple in a statement to TechCrunch. "We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.”

Apple didn't give a reason for the delay, but it stands to reason that the company wants to work out any linger show-stopping bugs before shipping the device to customers.

homepod standing black

HomePod is powered by an Apple A8 SoC and runs a version of iOS (as we famously found out when early references to the iPhone X were found in HomePod firmware over the summer). The smart speaker is roughly seven inches tall, features seven beam-forming tweeters in its base, an Apple-designed woofer for enhanced base and supports AirPlay 2.

More importantly, HomePod is Apple's answer to other popular smart speakers on the market like the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo family and the Google Home. As such, it leverages Siri voice controls to manage your spoken inquiries (i.e. weather, traffic information, calendar items, etc.) and to control your smart home.

While the Amazon Echo Dot starts at $50, and the second-generation Echo starts at $99, the Apple HomePod is priced at a hefty $349. That price is also $200 dearer than the Echo Plus.