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It's not clear what the cause for the delay is, especially since the speaker was revealed all the way back in June. Earlier this year, Google and Amazon put out a slew of other smart speakers, including a mini version of the Google Home and a model of the Echo with better sound quality. Instead of being available in December, it will ship early next year, the company told CNN Tech.

The Siri-backed smart speaker, which Apple unveiled in June, was supposed to make its in December, but as we learned today, that will not be happening. The HomePod looks like an oversized toilet paper roll covered in mesh fabric.

Apple's "early 2018" target leaves plenty of wiggle room. However, missing out on holiday gift purchases could mean some people opt for speakers from other companies, locking them more tightly into rival digital ecosystems. Although developers can make apps for Siri and HomePod, they're now limited to building things like lists, notes, and messaging. Where Apple does fall short is providing a smart experience with Siri. Apple hasn't been shy about talking up HomePod's audiophile credentials, squeezing six tweeters and a long-throw woofer - each powered by its own, custom amplifier - into the squat cylindrical design.

OK, Google, and hey, Alexa. Luckily for Apple, its new iPhone X and iPhone 8 seem to be selling well enough.