Apple has reportedly postponed the release of the HomePod smart speaker and will hit retail stores in January 2018. Previously, it was reported that Apple HomePod smart speaker will hit the retail stores in December 2017. The Tim Cook-owned company has confirmed that HomePod release has been delayed due to reasons beyond control and will be available by January 2018.
According to Apple, the smart speaker market has been competitive and hence there is a need to postpone the release. This means that customers will not be able to experience the speaker during the upcoming holiday season.
Commenting on the development, an Apple spokeswoman who declined to reveal the name disclosed that the product team requires more time before handing over the HomePod to their customers. As per the revised plan, the HomePod smart speaker will be available for customers based in the US, UK, and Australia in early 2018.
Similar to Amazon Echo
Announced in June, the Apple HomePod smart speaker is capable of playing music, news rendering including the ability to adjust home devices. The functionality is identical to that of the Amazon Echo series but the HomePod make use of Siri instead of Alexa. The Siri voice assistant is available in iPhone and iPad.
Huge revenue expected
According to Bob O’Donnell, Technalysis Research founder, the iPhone-manufacturer has projected a revenue of $84 billion to $87 billion in November and December 2017. The company is pushing hard to drive sales by providing exciting offers and packages. The main reason is attributed to the sale of the iPhone X worth $999.
Prospects not hit
The company sources added that the postponement of HomePod sale to January 2018 will not affect the revenue prospects because they already have a strong ecosystem of smartphones and tablets including accessories. It remains to be seen as to who will buy the Homepod for $349 when Amazon Echo is available under $100.
Apple is currently working hard to refresh the Siri voice assistant in such a way to compete with Alexa and Google Assistant. Google has been testing new interface for the Google Assistant, which is already available on all Android smartphones.
Smart speaker rules
Industry analysts are of the opinion that users work with voice assistants on smart speakers instead of smartphones. There is a possibility that iPhone users make use of Echo and Google Home devices to interact with the smart world. Moreover, users will have a smart experience when using digital voice controlled speakers.
Even though Apple has touted the speaker quality of the HomePod as superior, users will not find any reason to buy because of the huge cost associated with the speaker. There is no point in purchasing a smart speaker device which has blocked all the third-party services.
Amazon is gearing up to provide excellent discounts for Echo devices during the Thanksgiving holidays. We are sure that the offers will attract customers to a large extent. While Amazon has boosted Amazon Music subscriptions due to the sale of Echo, the Cupertino-based giant is also on the verge to enhance Apple Music subscriptions.
The aim is to block the entry of third-party music services such as Spotify. That said, Amazon and Google have integrated Spotify on to the relevant voice controlled devices. However, Apple Music will not work with any of the devices except their own HomePod.
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