Apple's HomePod reportedly pulled from holiday release, slated for 2018

Apple's HomePod reportedly pulled from holiday release, slated for 2018

Apple's HomePod reportedly pulled from holiday release, slated for 2018

Apple is expected to sell the HomePod for $349, a considerable premium above Amazon's Echo, now on its second generation, which sells for $99.99 on Amazon, and the Amazon Show, which includes a display screen, which sets customers back $229.

The spokesperson told The Verge the device will ship to the US, United Kingdom, and Australia in early 2018.

Apple touted the HomePod's superior audio quality when it first announced the product in June, but competitors have been catching up on that front as well. Smart speakers use "always listening" microphones to detect commands, then talk back with a smart assistant, such as Siri or Alexa. From Amazon's new Echo lineup to Google Home and Google Home Mini, there's no shortage of more affordable smart speakers on the market, many of which will be discounted for Black Friday. Apple said it can detect where its located in a room and adjust its sound accordingly.

"Last holiday season, smart speakers were huge, and this season they're going to be huge", O'Donnell said.

HomePod is created to work with an Apple Music subscription and iPhone 5s and above running iOS 11. Competitors in the smart speaker space, meanwhile, are flooding the zone.

The company is touting the HomePod as a high-fidelity speaker programmed to learn people's tastes so it can become a digital disc jockey that can automatically play tunes that its listeners will like.

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