“Late last year, Apple announced that it would delay the promised release of its HomePod smart speaker to early 2018,” Dan Moren writes for Macworld. “The competition already promises to be fierce: Amazon and Google are already entrenched, while everybody from Lenovo to Sonos has been jumping in with me-too offerings.”

“A new report from Canalys says that the smart speaker market is forecast to spike this year, outpacing other technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality. In a rare moment of (for it) transparency, Amazon said it had sold tens of millions of Echo devices during the holidays. (Though many of those sales are likely for the low-cost devices [with which] Apple won’t compete,” Moren writes. “By all accounts, the version of the HomePod shown to press during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last year was far from a fully functional prototype.”

“We might very well never know exactly what was behind the HomePod delay,” Moren writes. “Regardless, though, the stakes are upped: after pushing such a product back, the pressure’s on to make sure it is indeed ‘right.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re going to heed our moms’ “if you can’t say something nice” advice here.

Apple product delays have more than doubled under CEO Tim Cook – January 5, 2018
Apple preps Siri for the HomePod, now streams a news podcast when asked for ‘news’ – January 4, 2018
Apple CEO Tim Cook paid close to $102 million for fiscal 2017 – December 28, 2017
At Tim Cook’s Apple, Steve Jobs is long gone, and so is the ‘it just works’ ethos – December 19, 2017
Apple’s Phil Schiller: We feel bad about the HomePod delay – December 8, 2017
Echo Dot was Amazon’s Black Friday – Cyber Monday bestseller as Apple’s delayed HomePod waits for 2018 release date – November 28, 2017
Apple’s late, delayed, limited HomePod is looking more and more like something I don’t want – November 27, 2017
Why Apple’s HomePod is three years behind Amazon’s Echo – November 21, 2017
Under ‘operations genius’ Tim Cook, product delays and other problems are no longer unusual for Apple – November 20, 2017
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook: The ‘operations genius’ who never has enough products to sell at launch – October 23, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Apple is misplaying the hand Steve Jobs left them – November 30, 2016
UBS analyst explains why he questioned if Apple CEO Tim Cook has a grand strategy – November 30, 2016
Apple delays AirPod rollout – October 26, 2016
Apple delays release of watchOS 2 due to bug – September 16, 2015
Apple delays HomeKit launch until autumn – May 14, 2015
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015
Apple delays production of 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’ in face of overwhelming iPhone 6/Plus demand – October 9, 2014
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013