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iLifers will have to wait until 2018 for the Apple Siri speaker

Apple has posted flat profit for 1Q14, year on year

As the smart home market begins to heat up, Apple has unveiled its own version of a smart speaker will not be ready for the Christmas rush.

The cries of its cultist following of iLifers can be heard throughout the city, as the iLeader lays down a reality check. No explanation has been given for the moment, which is hardly surprising considering Apple’s usual allergic reaction to anything public, but the conspiracy theorists will surely be brewing something up over the next couple of days.

“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,” Apple said in a statement. “We’ll start shipping in the US, UK, and Australia in early 2018.”

There will certainly be various iFollowers struck down by the news, but the question remains as to whether Apple is making its entry to the market too late. The smart home revolution might still be in its early days, but Amazon and Google are certainly steaming ahead of the competition.

Having announced the device at the Apple developer conference in June, the initial plan was to have the shelves stocked by December in anticipation of the Christmas rush. Some analysts questioned this might have already have been too late, though with this delay, Apple is pushing its brand stickiness to the limit.

The HomePod has two advantages over competitors. Firstly, it is the only smart speaker on the market which will link to Siri, giving it an automatic buy-in to iPhone users. And secondly, it will have the Apple logo on it.

Apple seems to be able to do things no-one else in the world can. Perhaps only Scientology is a brand which can compete with the iBoss’ ability to influence its customers and charge ridiculous amounts of cash for products. This will surely test even the most dedicated of Apple believers.  Asking customers to delay purchasing a smart speaker until Christmas is doable for Apple, but asking to ignore smart speakers as a Christmas present might prove to be a trial for some iCultists.

Aside from the question of getting customers to purchase the smart speaker, you have to wonder how long Apple can remain relevant without Siri out there collecting information. Amazon and Google have speakers out on the market and subsequently have their virtual assistants being trained. Every day Apple does not have a speaker on the market, is another day it is missing to train Siri.

Apple is potentially pushing the limits of customer loyalty and technical capabilities in a very competitive space. That said, execs over at Amazon and Google will certainly be pleased with the news.

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