Apple’s eagerly anticipated HomePod smart speaker will launch in the next four to six weeks, claim tech analysts at the research firm GBH Insights.
The artificial intelligence-infused smart speaker, powered by Siri, was originally supposed to launch in December 2017. However, with just weeks to go, Apple wound up delaying the launch until an unspecified time in early 2018, saying that “we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers.”
The $349 speaker will be more expensive than the existing smart speakers on the market, dominated by the Google Home and Amazon Echo. According to a recent report, both devices sold very well over the holidays, helped by the fact that Amazon and Google were willing to lose money on each unit in order to get them into people’s homes.
As a result of the current dominance by Google and Amazon, GBH Insights expects Apple to face an “uphill climb” getting HomePod to a point where it is competitive with its more entrenched rivals. Both Google and Amazon will be pushing their smart speaker offerings this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), while Apple hasn’t dedicated any significant publicity to HomePod since unveiling it at last year’s WWDC event. Apple didn’t even mention the speaker during its iPhone X keynote — even though it was supposed to be one of the company’s biggest new products of 2017.
A report last week noted that, under Tim Cook’s leadership, delays in product launches have doubled compared to Apple under the leadership of Steve Jobs.
Are you excited about HomePod? Do you think Apple will be able to compete with its rivals? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.