Well, darn. There’ll be no HomePods under Christmas trees this year. Apple says the smart speaker launch will now happen in “early 2018” instead of in December, as expected. Buzzfeed’s John Paczkowski tweets the full statement from the tech giant:
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.
No specific reasons were given for the delay. However, lots of folks are going to be disappointed. According to a June survey of 2,000 participants, 19% of those who already own Apple products want a HomePod as their smart home speaker.
Announced in June, the $349 system is just under seven inches tall and looks like a piece of furniture. It will be available in both space gray and white. The HomePod also acts as a hub for HomeKit devices to provide remote access to home automation. It will use Siri to browse and select music from Apple Music, control the home through HomeKit, and answer questions.