Apple’s highly-anticipated HomePod hardware will not be ready in time for the manic festive season, this according to an official Apple statement released today.

The company’s newest product, which is essentially a Siri-powered speaker with focus on high quality sound and a direct Amazon Echo competitor, was slated for a release this coming December just in time for holiday shopping. However, according to Apple, the cylindrical HomePod isn’t quite ready yet and needs a little more time to make it to market.

Apple is clearly under the impression that the HomePod isn’t quite ready for public consumption just yet. And, if that is the case, then it’s always good that the Cupertino-based company is erring on the side of caution rather than pushing out new and untested hardware which will dampen public enthusiasm if it isn’t up to scratch. According to an Apple spokesperson, HomePod just needs “a little more time” before it’s ready for public consumption:

We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, 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.

Apple may have had astronomical success with iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X in recent weeks, as well as Apple TV 4K and Apple Watch Series 3, however, it was likely counting on the enthusiasm around HomePod to generate significant revenue as part of the run-up to Christmas. This delay may only be a matter of weeks or months depending on when it gets released in “early 2018,” but it simply means that Apple will not have that revenue at a time when it was expected. It remains to be seen how many consumers will be disappointed with this delay to the point where they abandon plans to purchase and opt for Amazon’s second-generation Echo.

Apple’s HomePod is priced to be at the premium end of the market that it’s entering. The device features seven beamforming tweeters designed to give an immersive sense of space. It is powered by Apple’s own A8 chip and comes with a premium seamless mesh fabric aesthetic which gives it flawless lines and stands it out from the competition.

Late last year, Apple AirPods faced similar delay but the company managed to make them available in time for Christmas 2016.

Let’s hope there are no further delays for HomePod than this, but, as always, we’ll keep you updated.

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