Monday, 20 November 2017 22:08

There's no place for HomePod in homes this Christmas

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That there's no place like home is something you don't need Sherlock Holmes to figure out, but an Apple HomePod in your home won't happen until 2018.

Apple's answer to Amazon's Echo and Google's Home speakers is its HomePod, a Siri-enabled speaker with vastly better and more sophisticated internals than either Amazon or Google have been able to muster in their respective intelligent speakers.

Apple announced that HomePod was coming during its WWDC 2017 keynote, and said it would be coming in December, with those in the US, UK and Australia first to be able to welcome HomePods into their lives.

Unfortunately, for specific reasons unknown, HomePod has been delayed until 2018.

Apple's official statement on the matter is as follows: "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. We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018."

This has led to some blaming Tim Cook for the problem, while others have wondered whether resources have instead been aimed at getting as many iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X models out this side of Christmas.

Others still suggest this delay will be of great assistance to Google and Amazon with their respective smart speaker systems, and even companies such as Sonos who are integrating the Google Assistant into its systems.

Questions also linger as to whether the iMac Pro will arrive as intended this year, and whether the Mac Pro will arrive in 2018 as promised, or whether these two new and as-yet still unavailable Macs might also see some further delay.

With smart, microphone-equipped speakers and intelligence delivered by the cloud quite the rage this year, there has been much anticipation for Apple's HomePod to come in and show competitors how smart speakers are really done.

Unfortunately this will now have to wait until 2018, and while Amazon, Google, Sonos are others are sure to benefit from the lack of Apple's competitive speaker and services, Apple usually starts from behind before overtaking competitors.

Will it be any different this time, or is Apple, yet again, "doomed?"

The delay is annoying, to be sure, but only an Apple HomePod speaker will work effortlessly within the Apple iDevice ecosystem, and with hundreds of millions of iPhones out there, as well as huge numbers of iPads, Macs and Apple TVs, so whatever critics say, sales are likely to be brisk once HomePod arrives in 2018, whenever that may be.

Maybe then we'll truly hear that there's no place like HomePod, after all.

Here's Apple's HomePod video from YouTube:


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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