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Apple's HomePod Gets Delayed Until 2018 (theverge.com) 49

Apple has reportedly delayed the release of its HomePod smart speaker until 2018. In a statement to The Verge, Apple says that it needs more time to work on the device. "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," an Apple spokesperson said. "We'll start shipping in the U.S., UK and Australia in early 2018." From the report: The speaker was originally set to be released in December. Priced at $349, the HomePod is slated to take on higher-end sound systems like Sonos, as well as smart assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. The cylindrical speaker features a seven-speaker array of tweeters, a four-inch subwoofer, and a six-microphone array, which puts it right on par spec-wise with the best speakers in its price range, but where it may fall short is Siri, which isn't really in the same class as Alexa or Google Assistant. That challenge is likely why Apple's focus at the launch of the HomePod back at WWDC in June was music first and smart features second.
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Apple's HomePod Gets Delayed Until 2018

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  • by greenwow ( 3635575 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @05:58PM (#55573309)

    instead of rushing. Good for them and good for us.

    • The last time I said this with a straight face about any tech company was when Blizzard delayed WC3.

    • by leonbev ( 111395 )

      It also means that they're going to be really late to the market, though. Both Amazon and Google are practically giving away their lower end AI speakers for $29 during the Christmas sale season, many of them with $20 gift cards attached to them.

      By the time 2018 comes around, many families who wanted a voice assistant will already have one. Many of those families might also buy devices like Chromecasts to link the device to the rest of their house, and Apple is going to have a tough time getting those people

      • Being late to the market is sort of an Apple thing. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad were all somewhat late to their respective markets, and subsequently dominated those markets.

        I think the big advantage Apple has is being able to tie into their own existing ecosystem. A huge percentage of the US population has iPhones, and so is already used to talking to Siri. These devices might be more comfortable to them as a result.

        It's hard to say whether they'll do well here or not. Honestly, I think it's probably a l

        • by lucm ( 889690 )

          Being late to the market is sort of an Apple thing. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad were all somewhat late to their respective markets, and subsequently dominated those markets.

          The iPod is gone and the iPad is dead in the water. All that's left is the iPhone which is no longer dominating anything except in the mind of its dwindling user base. Once again, Apple managed to build something great, then drive it into the ground, all within a 10-year span. The Ford Escort lasted twice that long.

      • Did you even RTFS?
        "the HomePod is slated to take on higher-end sound systems like Sonos"
        Yeah, I'm sure Amazon's $29 speaker will have all the features and sonic fidelity as Apple's $300 one...
        • by leonbev ( 111395 )

          The $29 Amazon or Google speaker isn't supposed to compete with a Sonos. That's why they support BlueTooth speaker connectivity, or connectivity to your home stereo system via Chromecast.

          If you really wanted a more expensive all-in-one high-fidelity model, Amazon already has one and Google will have one out soon.

        • Correct. In fact, it's well known that increasing the price also increases the audio fidelity, with no physical changes to the hardware being necessary. Apple utilizes this principle when selling Beats headphones.

          And even though Apple is fourth to the market, this voice assistant is, in their words, a "breakthrough", a word which also increases the audio fidelity.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      They should had done that with their other releases like iOS v11.

  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @06:21PM (#55573449) Journal

    I'm not one to follow every little advance made by the various "digital assistants", but in what way is Siri not "really in the same class as Alexa or Google Assistant"? I thought Siri was quite advanced, and was the first, so has it lagged behind the competition? Or is Siri tuned more for phone use on demand and not the far more generic use required in the home, where it "listens in" continuously to filter for commands within all the ambient sound and conversations in a room?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      http://bgr.com/2017/10/08/siri-vs-google-better-who-has-highest-iq/

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      I'm not one to follow every little advance made by the various "digital assistants", but in what way is Siri not "really in the same class as Alexa or Google Assistant"? I thought Siri was quite advanced, and was the first, so has it lagged behind the competition? Or is Siri tuned more for phone use on demand and not the far more generic use required in the home, where it "listens in" continuously to filter for commands within all the ambient sound and conversations in a room?

      Well, the problem is Apple and

  • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @06:24PM (#55573471)

    That challenge is likely why Apple's focus at the launch of the HomePod back at WWDC in June was music first and smart features second.

    I suppose if you don't already have a sound system, this lets you get something that's probably decent at a lower cost, but if you've already got a set of speakers, what is the purpose of this thing? I despise digital voice assistants anyway and I suspect there are a lot of other posters here that don't like privacy implications and completely disable whatever they've got on their phone, so I can't really see the point of this device. Maybe if they had a crap ton of other smart appliances and you could build an Apple home with this thing serving as the hub, but this just feels to pointless. So that probably just means it will be a smashing success when it does come out.

  • I can't get another device listening to everything I say and do and recording it in the cloud until next year?

    I am disappoint.

  • away.

    Shit, I'm old. Hah.

  • by urbanriot ( 924981 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @08:08PM (#55573973)
    While I'm reading some negativity in the comments section concerning this delay, Apple should be applauded as they're undoubtedly coming up with a progressive device eschewing the archaic components cobbled together for your grandparents 'speakers', like the speaker cone, the magnet, and the voice coil.
    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      They'll probably make it wireless, wifiless and bluetoothless. It will only play the same built-in U2 song over and over, unless you buy the Pro edition which comes with a single Delete button.

  • Despite heavy marketting it will sound exactly like every portable stereo it's size. If you care about sound, get a set of real speakers with a subwoofer and connect cast device of your choice to the amplifier. If you don't, this is a waste of money.

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