Apple HomePod won't arrive for the holidays

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Though the smart speaker market is relatively new, the holiday season is traditionally the biggest time of year for sales.

But Apple is late to a marketplace dominated by Amazon and Google, with a handful of other players entering the race. It connects to Apple Music wirelessly through Wi-Fi and to other Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, through AirPlay 2. Competitors in the smart speaker space, meanwhile, are flooding the zone.

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.

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Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, called Apple's decision is a "smart move", that buys the company time to get it right. Amazon's Echo line starts at $50.

In a statement, Apple said, "We can't wait for people to experience HomePod.but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers". The smart speaker was due to launch in the US, UK, and Australia in December 2017, having been announced back in June alongside the iMac Pro at WWDC. The HomePod looks like an oversized toilet paper roll covered in mesh fabric. But voice control is created to work only with Apple Music, the company's $10 a month subscription service. Apple said that its smart speaker will be able to control home appliances and take basic orders. It's unclear why the product has been delayed, but it will miss the holiday rush.

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