Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing announces the new Apple HomePod during the annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S. June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Apple Inc has pushed the launch of its HomePod smart speaker to early next year from December, the company said on Friday, missing the holiday shopping season as the market for such devices becomes increasingly competitive.
“We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod ... but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers. We’ll start shipping in the U.S., UK and Australia in early 2018,” an Apple spokeswoman said via email.
Apple introduced the voice-controlled HomePod in June. The speaker, which can make music suggestions and adjust home temperatures, takes aim at Amazon.com Inc’s Alexa feature and Echo devices.
Apple has forecast between $84 billion and $87 billion in revenue for the holiday - mostly driven by sales of its $999 iPhone X - so it’s unlikely that missing a few weeks of sales of its $349 speaker will affect its financial results, Bob O‘Donnell, founder of Technalysis Research, said.