Apple has delayed the launch of its HomePod smart speaker until early 2018, the technology giant has said.
"We cannot wait for people to start using HomePod, which is a breakthrough of Apple's wireless loudspeakers for home, but we need a little more time before it is ready for our customers".
Apple said in a statement that HomePod is still work in progress and it needs more time to finish before the device reaches customers.
Smart speakers will be a key focus for the holiday shopping season given the influx of devices coming from other players like Google, Amazon and Sonos.
Apple has forecast between US$84 billion and US$87 billion in revenue for the holiday - mostly driven by sales of its US$999 iPhone X - so it's unlikely that missing a few weeks of sales of its US$349 speaker will affect its financial results, Bob O'Donnell, founder of Technalysis Research, said.
The downside is that during all this time, there are many technological companies that have shown their novelties in the segment of smart loudspeakers.
The launch of the eagerly anticipated Apple HomePod has been delayed until next year. He further adds, "We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018".
The HomePod, which Apple announced in June with a price tag of $349, features spatial awareness to improve playback and innovative signal processing to allow Siri to hear voice commands over music.
Apple is also counting on HomePod to boost subscriptions to Apple Music and block the rise of rival Spotify.
However, Apple has been keen to market the HomePod as an upgrade on home music systems rather than just its built in assistant, calling it a system that will "reinvent" music listening at home. Although developers can make apps for Siri and HomePod, they're now limited to building things like lists, notes, and messaging.
But Apple could still have a surprise or two in store.
To recall the specifications of the HomePod as revealed by Apple, the device will be cylindrical in shape and will have a range of speakers and sub-woofers and microphones.
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