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Apple just delayed its HomePod smart speaker until next year

  • Apple has delayed the HomePod smart speaker.
  • The HomePod was announced in June and was originally planned to ship in December
  • Apple said it needs "a little more time before it's ready for our customers."

Apple said on Friday that it's delaying the launch of its HomePod smart speaker until next year.

"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. "We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018."

The HomePod was originally announced during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in June. It's priced at $349 and will compete with other smart speakers from Amazon, including the Echo, the Google Home and similar products from Sonos.

The HomePod was originally scheduled to ship in December ahead of the holiday shopping season. Apple did not provide a specific reason for the delayed launch.

The delay is unlikely to affect the company's financials, Drexel Hamilton's Brian White said, with only 1 million units expected to ship in the December quarter.

"Essentially it's going to shift from being a stocking stuffer to a gift for the Easter basket," White told CNBC's "Power Lunch" Friday.