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Apple moves HomePod release to early 2018, missing Christmas rush

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the HomePod speaker at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Apple announced in a statement Friday that its HomePod smart speaker won't be ready in time for its initial December release date, adding that the production process needs "a little more time." A company spokesperson told TechCrunch that the new plan is to start shipping in the U.S., U.K. and Australia in 2018.

Why it matters: The delay is a hit to Apple, whose original plan was to coincide with the $350 speaker's release with the Christmas rush.