Apple missed the holiday rush as it delayed the HomePod to early 2018 while Amazon and Google cashed in. Cupertino still hasn’t nailed down the exact launch date, but info from one of the suppliers suggests that it’s coming soon.
Inventec has started shipping an initial batch of 1 million units, says an anonymous insider source. Apple has contracted two companies to build its smart speaker – Inventec (which also assembles AirPods) and Foxconn. In total 10-12 million units are expected to ship this year, split evenly between the two companies.
Another insider claims that the delay was because Apple needed more time to fine-tune the hardware and software of the HomePod.
The initial availability will cover the US, the UK and Australia. The speaker will cost $350 in the US, putting it well above the price of most smart speakers and right against Google’s Home Max ($400).