APPLE HAS SOME BAD NEWS for anyone with a HomePod on their Christmas list, as the Siri-powered speaker has been delayed until next year.
The Apple HomePod was first announced at WWDC in June, with a release date slated for December.
In a statement seen by Buzzfeed's John Paczkowski, an Apple spokesperson confirmed on Friday that the Amazon Echo rival now won't be released until early next year.
"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 spokesperson said. "We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018."
The HomePod is Apple's first stab at the Amazon and Google-dominated smart speaker market. Like its competitors, the speaker is controlled by Apple's AI assistant - Siri - which can do things such as read out the news and send iMessages and also act as a "musicologist" that will help you discover new music.
The device itself measures 7in tall, and Apple has defended its bin-like design by talking up its "seamless 3D mesh fabric" as having acoustic properties.
Inside you'll find Apple's A8 processor, which the company claims is "the biggest brain inside of a speaker". This sits alongside a 4in Apple-built subwoofer and a seven tweeter array with precision acoustic horns and directional control.
The speaker also features "spatial awareness," which allows it to automatically tune the sound to the space that the speaker is in, along with a six-microphone array.
"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing said earlier this year.
"HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a beautiful speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion-free music and be a helpful assistant around your home."
Apple's HomePod will come in white and Space Grey, and thanks to its built-in HomeKit support, it'll allow you to control smart appliances around your home, even by using your iPhone from another location.
Once it eventually launches, the Apple HomePod will be available for £349. µ
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