Apple Inc has pushed the launch of its HomePod smart speaker to early next year from December, the company said on Friday, missing the holiday shopping season as the market for such devices becomes increasingly competitive. Now that mid November has rolled around and there isn't a HomePod in sight Apple is saying its release time table was a little off.
Photo Apple introduced its HomePod speaker in June and had said the product would ship by the end of the year. The tech giant announced the speaker in June at its annual developer conference. Amazon invented the category in 2015 with the Echo, and there are now similar options available from Google, Microsoft and Sonos. Amazon's Echo line starts at $50. You can also turn on or off any smart appliances in the home.
HomePod has Siri built-in for voice control using a six-microphone array which makes it a smart speaker. Apple's HomePod is aware of how big the room is where it is being placed, and adjusts the sound accordingly for the best experience.
The company is touting the HomePod as a high-fidelity speaker programmed to learn people's tastes so it can become a digital disc jockey that can automatically play tunes that its listeners will like. Although developers can make apps for Siri and HomePod, they're now limited to building things like lists, notes, and messaging.