Apple announced Friday that it pushed back until the beginning of next year the release of its speaker HomePod, competing with the devices of Amazon and Google Home in the field of connected speakers.
Apple will miss the holiday season in this rapidly growing market.
“We are looking forward to introducing HomePod to the public, Apple’s revolutionary wireless speaker, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers,” Apple said in a statement communicated.
“We will start sales in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia in early 2018.”
The device had been announced by Apple at its June developer conference.
Working with the Siri digital assistant, HomePod is priced at $349, in the high-end segment of the market. It is designed to deliver high quality sound for pairing with the Apple Music subscription service.
But Apple has fallen behind a market dominated by Amazon and Google, with a handful of other players entering the race.
Even though Amazon and Google have not published sales figures, a survey conducted by the Consumer Intelligence Research Partner showed that Amazon Echo already has a base of 20 million units installed in the United States, or 73% of the market at the end of the third quarter.
Google Home has sold seven million devices, with a 27% market share.