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Friday, November 17, 2017
Apple HomePod Smart Speaker Won't Be an Option For Holiday Shopping

Apple has pushed the launch of its HomePod smart speaker to early next year from December, the company said on Friday.

"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 US, UK and Australia in early 2018," an Apple spokeswoman said.

The HomePod, which streams tunes from Apple Music, takes voice commands via Siri, and controls smart home appliances, was originally announced in June at the company's annual developer conference in June. It was scheduled to ship in December, Apple said at the time.

Smart speakers will be a key focus for the holiday shopping season given the influx of devices coming from other players like Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Amazon.com Inc., and Sonos Inc.

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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