Apple HomePod delayed until 2018

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the “silly season” specials is usually prime time to release any new products or technology to hit the market strong, at least that is what Apple thought when they announced the release of the Apple HomePod Smart Speaker.  As a typical Apple product there is a lot of fanfare and hype around potential products, and originally announcing first release to UK, USA, and Australia definitely brought the buzz they wanted, what they didn’t want was the stories that followed. The HomePod journey has been an interesting one, with originally manufacturer reports claiming there were not enough to supply for a demanding market. Announced back in June, Apple claimed they would “re-invent music in the home” with sound quality being the obvious focus on the assistant powered speaker.

The issue with announcing in June, and not releasing until December is this gave other companies time to react, with both SONOS and Madebygoogle releasing a quality sounding smart assistant speaker for the home in the last few months, and apple still no where on the market.  Apple have run into a few issues with the build of the HomePod, and now they have lost the upper hand for the market. Could pulling out the the holiday rush be the nail in the head for HomePod?

Obviously delaying the launch of any new product is not good, but delaying over the biggest shopping events of the season is not something any company would choose to do lightly. So far the only date that has been given is early 2018 at best, and the chances are high that with some of the speakers manufacturers saying product roll out had already started, that apple will fall further behind for whatever software or hardware changes that may have caused this delay.

Only time will tell.

UPDATE: Everything we know about Apple Homepod

It been 5 months since news of apples plans to release the “homepod” smart speaker, powered by siri; Apple marketed the homepod as the first music and sound centered speaker to support a built in smart voice assistant. With the homepod still yet to be released, many are questioning what apple is planning to do with the homepod to over throw the current smart speaker market. In the 5 months since apple announced the plans for the homepod, both the Sonos ONE and google home max have been hyped up and released filling the void in the market for a powerful sounding smart speaker. a speaker that can play good music AND still control your home automation

The Apple HomePod speaker will be priced at US$349 with localised Australian pricing to be confirmed later in the year.

  • Apple-designed upward-facing woofer
  • Custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters
  • Apple Music Integration
  • Siri Integration
  • Automatic room-sensing technology
  • White and Space Grey
Should be released in decemeber 2017 which is now 2 weeks away, with claims to be in time for christmas. which is in 39 days

Harmon Kardon & Samsung

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To say there are a few smart speakers on the market at the moment is a huge understatement. A.I. and smart home companies are all in a race to beat competitors to market for the next big ‘it’ hardware. Amazon Alexa was the first to bring voice assistant and home controls to the market (but over two years later is yet to release in Australia) and Google Home, which is coming next (first to reach the Australian market).  Apple and Samsung are the next big tech companies to release their voice assistants in a speaker. Apple publicly announced the Smart speaker, Homepod, powered by voice assistant Siri, which is due to hit Australia in time for Christmas.

However, details for the South Korean company Samsung have been scarce so far, with many failed attempts to kick-start Voice Assistant Bixby. Due to a few reasons, the biggest being the lack of English recognition and support for the assistant features, and the next is assumed to an already flooded market with a strong fan base for the four other major Smart Assistants.  So far Samsung’s mobile division chief, DJ Koh has kept tightly lipped about any future hardware products coming out the Company, in September saying “Maybe soon we will announce it. I am already working on it” in regards to a smart assist speaker. With no reliable announcement official as of yet, we are left watching as the Samsung team try to iron out any faults with the mobile assistant Bixby. We are left to assume that Koh may have been hinting towards Child Company Harman, which was recently acquired by Samsung back in March of this year, as part of the company’s biggest acquisition ever, which included and not limited to Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon, and Mark Levinson.

It was shortly after this that Harman made the rather odd announcement of their smart assistant home speaker design and release date, none other than Microsoft Cortana would power that. As far as Harman Kardon is concerned this is an excellent move as Cortana has much more successful speech recognition and has already started to implement home automation controls on the PC and Xbox. For now, parent company Samsung, this might be a sign of defeat, or it may be a brilliant new partnership. Either is unclear right now.  What we do know now, is that the Harman Kardon came out this week, and it appears to be a powerful speaker. The public will decide what they think of Cortana as a Home Automation Assistant.

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Australia Gets The Apple HomePod FIRST

Australia will be amidst a couple of regions that will receive the Apple HomePod first on its global release date in December, alongside America and the UK. So far all we know the price is approximately $465, exchanged to AUD. The HomePod will Feature Siri Voice Assistant, it will be able to send messages, will have Spatial Awareness and will come in White or Grey. It’s a big step up for Australia in the Voice enabled Assistant market to be in the initial release. Unlike with the Google and Amazon competitors, we were left with no date at all. The Google Home released 3 months later, and we have yet to get a regional compatible Amazon Alexa.

Apple HomePod Already Struggling for Supply

Even though it’s not yet released there are multiple sources claiming Apple’s take on the home assistant is already in dire numbers. HomePod, Apple’s upcoming voice assistant product is expected sometime towards the end of 2017, but according to recent reports from one of the manufacturers of the device Inventec the launch day will be greeted with limited stock for the eager Apple fan base. Launch Date is still unconfirmed, and it is speculated the initial supply will hit in time for Christmas shopping but will only feature a low 500,000 units worldwide.
Apple’s HomePod will feature a sleek and modern design, and the Technology Focus is on the higher end capability for sound. Finally, it is certainly not needed to confirm, but the HomePod will feature a Siri voice enabled user Control. Only time will tell if this low stock rolls out will be the Home Pod’s Downfall even against the “cult like” following Apple Has.

*EDITORS AMMENDMENT* following this news it has been confirmed there will be two Taiwanese based manufactures for the HomePod

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