Apple has delayed the launch of HomePod, its upcoming smart home speaker, to "early 2018". It comes with built-in smart assistant like you find on Google Home and Amazon Echo. This is speculation, of course - unless Apple provides more information, we may never know the reason behind the delay.
In a statement released on Friday, Apple didn't offer specific reasons for the delay, simply claiming it "needed a little more time" to flawless it. Now that mid November has rolled around and there isn't a HomePod in sight Apple is saying its release time table was a little off. Apple HomePod will be its first big new hardware product since the Apple Watch. At that time, Apple said the smart speaker would go on sale by the end of 2017 for $349.
The Homepod is a cylindrical smart speaker that features seven-speaker arrayu of tweeters, a four-inch subwoofer, and a six-microphone array. Siri hasn't been able to keep up with other assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. If HomePod isn't shipping by March we may be waiting until late June before it shows up on store shelves.
Besides the Amazon Echo, other smart speakers include the Google Home series, the Microsoft Invoke, and upcoming models expected from Samsung (using Bixby) and Sony.