Apple delays HomePod speaker, leaving high-end smart speaker market to Sonos, Google

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Apple on Friday delayed the pending release of its high-end HomePod connected speaker until 2018, saying it wasn't ready for shipment.

Apple debuted the device in June at their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), and originally planned to release the HomePod in December of 2017.

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

Next month, Google's Home Max speaker that likewise focuses on audio quality, and the Amazon Echo Spot, a mini speaker with a screen, go on sale.

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Further, the makers stated that a new verification procedure was being laid down in order to curb the hue and cry around the same. The verification marks visually signal that the accounts of prominent individuals are authentic and reliable.

If you were hoping to buy a HomePod for your honey this holiday season, you'll have to come up with plan b.

VentureBeat has reached out to Apple for further comment on the cause of the delay. For right now though, you should enjoy your Amazon Echo, Google Home, or any other smart speaker you may have. However, missing out on holiday gift purchases could mean some people opt for speakers from other companies, locking them more tightly into rival digital ecosystems. At $329, HomePod was poised to be one of the pricier smart speakers on the market, but it touts superior sound quality. HomePod will work with Apple's HomeKit platform to control smart-home devices.

Priced at $349 and launching in space gray and white, the 7-inch-tall HomePod features an Apple A8 chip, seven-tweeter array, and a 4-inch designed Apple woofer.