Enlarge / Look at this happy couple enjoying voice commands and high quality audio in their home! (credit: Apple)
In a statement to CNBC this morning, Apple said its HomePod smart speaker will be released in 2018, not by the end of this year as originally announced.

Here is the company’s statement:
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.
The 7”-tall HomePod was expected to launch in December.
It will cost $349 and bring Siri into any room in your house that it wasn’t already present, allowing for voice features like answering questions and managing your smart home.

That said, Apple said the main focus of the HomePod is music.

The device will feature an A8 processor—the same found in the iPhone 6—and will sense the layout of the room and adjust its audio output for optimal acoustics.
It will also work in tandem with other HomePods wirelessly to provide home-wide coverage or deliver stereo sound.
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