Apple Pushes HomePod Release to 2018

Posted on November 17, 2017 by Brad Sams in iOS with 28 Comments

Earlier this year, Apple announced that it would be releasing its first smart speaker called the HomePod in late 2017. If you were holding out for one of these new devices, you will have to wait a little bit longer.

The company announced today that they will be delaying the HomePod until early 2018 by releasing the following statement:

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.”

There are a few things to note here about this, the first is that the delay pushes this past the holiday shopping season. For Apple, this may not be a big deal as their products tend to sell well no matter when they are released but it does make you wonder what the issue is with the device.

Considering it was announced with a six-month window to finalize and build the product, the issues must have been serious to warrant this move. But on the other hand, this is a good thing (for those who are buying it) for the consumer as shipping a buggy product is worse than not shipping one at all.

What this does mean though is that Google, Amazon and even Microsoft will have digital home assistants for sale this year and that Apple will be late to the party. Does that matter? Likely not, as the company will still sell millions of phones and tablets with Siri baked into the hardware.

The company is not giving an exact timeline for release but it doesn’t look like, at least from the announcement today, that the product is delayed a significant amount of time.

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Comments (28)

28 responses to “Apple Pushes HomePod Release to 2018”

  1. daveevad

    Patent infringement issues...with a ball of yarn??

  2. Win74ever

    I wonder what's gonna happen when their iPhone declines. They will be sorry for not focusing in other products.

    • Stooks

      In reply to Win74ever:

      Actually in the recent quarterly/yearly reports the iPhone has dropped from a high of 68% of their revenue to 55%. At the same time revenue and profit went up to an all time high.

      Compare that to Google with their AD revenue (89%?) or Microsoft with its SA/EA/business cloud revenue (90%)???

      • Jorge Garcia

        In reply to Stooks:

        Except that most of the services that caused that percentage to shift are pretty much dependent on iPhone users. Once the sun finally sets on the iPhone, they'll return to the niche company they always have been, save for this recent iPod/iPhone run. Luckily for them, the iPhone has bought them DECADES of runway, so even with the expected and predictable string of terrible mistakes that will surely make, there can be no "hard landing" for Apple, they'll just fade away into a corner of the market, catering to their niche audience.

    • GT Tecolotecreek

      In reply to Win74ever:

      They will be sorry for not focusing in other products.

      Mean like computers, music players, music services, wearables, application software and future AR devices?

  3. red.radar

    I think if Apple just released a good speaker then I am ok. I am not crazy about assistants. They need way to much access to my privacy to be useful. Considering Apple is not a cloud / information company I am not certain why they would push the assistant too hard.

    I can be old fashion and turn my lights on with my finger.

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to red.radar:

      Are you saying you'd buy a 'good speaker' just because it has an Apple logo on it? There are way more companies out there with a huge amount more experience than Apple in speaker technology. Look elsewhere if you want a good speaker. but if you ever want as assistant, Siri is about he dumbest out there unfortunately.

  4. GT Tecolotecreek

    Replied here since the Reply feature is hit or miss.
    Does it block replies if you have a valid URL in it?

    In reply to MikeGalos:

    Must hurt getting hit in the head so many times by reality!

    How about real live listening tests by real live people?

  5. PincasX

    U.S centric bloggers really struggle with perspective on the whole digital home assistant market. There is currently only one real player in this market and it is Google. Microsoft has one device that they made with Harmon and it is only available in the U.S, Amazon has an army of devices but they are only in sold in three countries and support two languages. Additionally, the first part services that both MS and Amazon have that would work their respective devices are limited as well. Google is the only global player here and if you can't compete globally you might as well take your toys and go home because the global players are going to hand you your ass. Realistically the market is fairly open to Apple or anyone else that can field a product and services globally and to the best of my knowledge Apple is the only player out there that is set up to come in and compete globally.

    • Roger Ramjet

      In reply to PincasX:

      Worldwide, Android market share is like 85%, in the US iPhone market share is like 45-50%, so if you remove US, and perhaps a few other rich (Canada & European) countries where Apple share will be higher just based on cultural transmission from the worldwide numbers Android probably tops above 90% in rest of the world.

      So, I don't know that it is comfortable to say "Apple is the only player out there that is set up to come in and compete globally". They are not that strong in much of the rest of the world. Which may be fine, for what they intend to do, they are a seller of luxury consumer electronic goods. Their market is therefore predominantly in rich countries. You are probably right about the Google part, subject to the cooperation of Samsung and a few others.

      • PincasX

        In reply to Roger Ramjet:

        You seemed to entirely have missed my point. When it comes to digital home assistance Google is the only game in town, by "town" I mean the world and by world I mean the known universe that has technology. Why do I say that? Because they have the biggest footprint. Brad put Amazon and Microsoft of equal footing but they aren't, it is Google. Apple is the only company that can challenge Google in that market. I didn't say they could be number one but simply when it comes to languages supported and services that siri/apple music ... also have a global foot print. If you know of another company that could possibly compete then I am all ears, who is it because it sure as shit isn't Amazon or Microsoft.

        Added note: At best this is a two horse race (Google and Apple). If it comes to marketshare on these things I betting Google, if it comes to making money off of them the I'm betting Apple. If it comes to failing I'm betting MS and Amazon.

        • Tony Barrett

          In reply to PincasX:

          I've got to agree with you here. Amazon has the biggest head start, and they push the Echo hard, but essentially, they have a limited market in a small number of countries. Google are a global brand recognized across the world. They have the biggest opportunity by far to take over the AI/assistant market, and look like they're well on the way. Apple, as you say, only play in the luxury end of the market, which rules out 80% of the world. Microsoft won't even get a toe-hold, let alone anything else. 'Invoke' will die just like most of their other attempts. MS are locked into a Windows world, and don't stand much chance of breaking free. Like it or not, Google have the money, talent, brand awareness and global infrastructure to make it work.

  6. MikeGalos

    So six months as vaporware and then another (at least) three months before first customer ship and that to a limited number of countries.

    Kind of implies that what Apple demonstrated wasn't real and that their management was desperate to advertise even a non-existent product to make sure they didn't lose any of their users to competitors who actually have products on the market.

    You have to wonder whether the intelligence they showed in the "demo" was even built into the device or whether there was a Macintosh hidden under a display table actually "emulating" the design through a normal speaker and microphone.

    • Jeffsters

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Oh Mike how I have missed you!

    • Gregory Steeno

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Ah, Mike comes out of his hole to hypocritically bash Apple through speculation.

      If only Microsoft (or Google or Amazon or ...) had ever pushed back a release. Oh, wait.

    • Stooks

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Yeah Mike Apple was demoing some fake hardware driven by a Mac??? I missed that demo...oh wait there was none.

      When it launches, it will take 22 seconds to out sell all Cortona powered speakers.....if that.

    • Nicholas Kathrein

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      I think your wrong with your view. Apple showed it off to the media but it was just to show the sound of it. I bet Apple at the time saw how bad the quality was for the other options like the Echo and the Google Home couldn't compete with their speaker sound quality. I think they felt that they could compete on sound quality alone. Problem is Google announced the max which will match their sound quality or be very close plus Google Assistant kills Siri in every day usability.

      If google didn't release the Max speaker then Apple would have rested it's hat on that while trying to deliver software updates to fix Siri. That is a bad idea now. If they can't get Siri near as good as Google Assistant it will get bad reviews and look as another product that Apple has let qc before it was ready. Many will say the first apple watch should have waited a year.

      • Stooks

        In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

        I think you live in a Google bubble. Normal people barely use voice assistants today.

        Yes the Google assistant is better in my testing than the rest. That said it is in its infancy like the rest and it will fail you from time to time, quite spectacularly.

        People that do use these things, quickly learn their usability. What I ask of Siri, she can handle quite easily because I have learned where her boundaries are. For this speaker she will do just fine. That will be mostly music playing requests (98%) with the odd timer, weather request thrown in.

        Sound wise I expect it to be better than the rest including the Google Max and only matched or out matched by top end Sonos products Also after just a few weeks of Apple advertising Joe Consumer will know about it for sure. I bet Joe Consumer has no idea what the Google Max is.

    • PincasX

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      So, I don't mean for reality to rain on your conspiracy parade but there was no demo of the product in the keynote. They talked about it's features but never showed it in use. They did show it to the press but that was limited to the product playing music and there was no demo of it doing anything past that. So it doesn't make me wonder any of those things that you plucked out of thin are because we know there was no Macintosh hidden under a table, no emulation and no normal speaker or microphone.

      Kinda of implies that you are so desperate to bash the company that you are just making up things.

      Anyone that kinda paid attention in the past would notice this isn't the first time Apple has pushed back a product they didn't think was ready to be released. Hell, they didn't it with the AirPods last year.

      • MikeGalos

        In reply to PincasX:

        So what you're saying is that Apple demonstrated a product for the press that actually didn't work and announced a product that wasn't at the point of demonstrating its basic functionality even as a proof of concept.

        Got it. The completed the visuals for the case (what they care about since they can do a 5-minute Jony Ive video about it), wrapped that case around a possible OEM's speaker and did a sales pitch for vaporware that didn't even work in the lab.

        And that's your defense of Apple? That they preannounced vaporware that didn't even work in the lab yet to try and blunt sales of a competitor's product. And you call that a good thing?

        • pecosbob04

          In reply to MikeGalos:
          "And that's your defense of Apple? That they preannounced vaporware that didn't even work in the lab yet to try and blunt sales of a competitor's product. And you call that a good thing?"

          Mike, you have to stop filtering everything you read through your MSFT spin sieve. Some of us are old enough to see the irony of you attributing to AAPL, MSFT's most effective tactic from Bill Gates "Great Book of FUD" within hours of a competitor announcing a new product, feature, and / or service take to the media to pre-announce that they have been working on the exact same product which will be more compatible and better and available real soon now "RSN". Often never bothering to produce the vaporware but accomplishing the mission of freeing adoption of the competitors new shiny.

        • PincasX

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          I didn't defend anything nor did I call anything good. You just can’t stop fabricating things can you? I pointed out that you are a dishonest. Pretty simple, you invent events that didn't happen. Get mental help.

          And please, point a link to this demo you keep referencing.

        • Mcgillivray

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          Apple's job is to build products - but more importantly get people excited about buying them. This is Apple. This isn't XYZ on Kickstarter. They don't need to have fully functional hardware on site to be allowed to announce anything.

          Apple could hold an event - and just show sketches and schematics of their next huge product launch that is 12 months away - and what would happen? People would start talking, get excited, and maybe hold off on buying a similar product from a competing company. Job done. And yes, that IS a good thing. For Apple.

          They don't really care if that tactic makes YOU happy or not.