Apple's HomePod speaker delayed to 2018

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Apple now says it needs more time to ideal the speaker's technology. "We'll start shipping in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia in early 2018", an Apple spokeswoman said via email.

Apple said Friday it was delaying until early next year the release of its HomePod speaker set to compete with Amazon´s Alexa-powered devices and Google Home as a smart home and music hub.

"When HomePod comes out, you'll probably hear some great content from artists that are familiar and popular, and there's probably going to be some other special aspects as well", he said.

A prototype Apple HomePod is seen during the annual Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S. June 5, 2017. The speaker was originally due in December.

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VentureBeat has reached out to Apple for further comment on the cause of the delay. This is speculation, of course - unless Apple provides more information, we may never know the reason behind the delay.

Apple issued an official statement to TechCrunch and other news outlets today saying that the release of the HomePod would be delayed until 2018.

Apple fans waiting to get their hands on the company's latest foray into home smart assistants will have to wait a bit longer. The HomePod also will include Apple's voice-activated assistant Siri to respond to requests like the Echo and Google Home.

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