Apple entered the smart speaker area this year with the unveiling of its Siri-powered HomePod. After its unveiling what was awaited was the commercial launch of the Apple HomePod. However, Apple has been seeing delays for it. Back in August, it announced that the HomePod will be available for purchase in December right in time for the holidays. However, a new statement by the company hints at a delay into early 2018.
Be it the first-gen Watch or the AirPods, Apple has recently struggled to cope with the demands for its new product launches. Even with the announcement of HomePod being available in December, it was said that there would be limited quantity. Apple’s latest statement as quoted by Buzzfeed reads, “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. We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.”
Even now a definite time launch isn’t given as Apple says it would be available in “early 2018”. Also, only select markets like US, UK and Australia will be first to get hold of the HomePod. Analysts in the past have predicted that there would be only 500,000 units of the HomePod at the time of launch. Although customers who are eagerly waiting for the product would be disappointed, it appears that Apple is taking careful steps before going ahead with the commercial launch. ALSO READ: Apple patent reveals ‘superior’ audio system for FaceTime and HomePod
Apple’s HomePod competes against Amazon’s Echo series, and also Google Home. Apple’s competitors have gone ahead with the Echo products debuting in India this year, and new Google Home Mini speakers recently launched. However, Apple is expected to stir the market after the commercial release does take place. ALSO READ: Samsung reportedly working on a Bixby-powered smart speaker to take on Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod
Apple HomePod has a cylindrical design wrapped with 3D mesh fabric. Under its hood is Apple’s A8 chip and features what Apple calls ‘spatial awareness’. It is further equipped with seven tweeters, and one sub-woofer for more sound audio output. The speaker system works in sync with Apple Music service. Using six microphones, it is capable of absorbing ‘Hey, Siri’ commands from the environment. Apple HomePod comes in two color choices of white and space gray.