The HomePod will not be under any Christmas trees this holiday season. The Verge reports that the Apple HomePod’s ship date has been pushed from December to early 2018 according to a statement made today from an Apple spokesperson:
“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.”
Apple Will Miss the Crucial Holiday Season
A few weeks delay can be costly. But a few weeks delay over the shopping season is extremely expensive. Especially in the smart speaker market. According to an Adobe e-commerce study, 3 out of 4 voice assistant devices were sold during last year’s holiday season. While Apple did not provide a reason for the delay, it must have been serious enough for the HomePod to miss out the most crucial shopping weeks of the year.
This missed opportunity is further compounded by the fact that since Apple’s HomePod announcement, audiophiles now have several smart speaker options to choose from. Sonos launched the Sonos One with Alexa, and both Amazon and Google have introduced higher-end versions of their smart speakers. Apple’s diehard fans and Apple Music subscribers might be disappointed to hear that they have to take the HomePod off their holiday shopping list. Everyone else will probably be just as happy to add another device in its place.