Apple has delayed the launch of HomePod, its upcoming smart home speaker, to “early 2018.” The company didn’t give a reason for the delay, other than the product needing “a little more time before it’s ready for our customers.”
The delay is unfortunate for anyone who needed $349 worth of Siri in their homes, but it’s also a bad look for Apple’s wireless audio division. AirPods, the company’s truly wireless earbuds, faced a similar delay when they were introduced this time last year.
The HomePod was revealed at Apple’s developer conference, WWDC 2017, back in June. Journalists at the event got a hands-on opportunity with the speaker, with release set at the time for December. Hopefully, today’s delay means that it will be released in January or February of next year.
In a statement to Buzzfeed‘s John Paczkowski, Apple gave zero explanation for the delay. “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,” the company told Paczkowski. “We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.”
With the AirPods, the holdup was a problem with Apple’s new W1 wireless chip, an enhanced version of Bluetooth with special connectivity features.
The HomePod has a bunch of features that are new to Apple. The company has never made a speaker designed to fill a room before, and the HomePod is said to rely heavily on algorithms to tune the audio to a specific room. The HomePod is also a smart speaker in the vein of Amazon Echo or Google Home, which means it needs on-board chipsets to handle audio processing, as well as a sensitive microphone array.