It has now become inevitable for Amazon’s Echo series to reign supreme in the smart speaker market this holiday season after Apple decided to reschedule the launch of its HomePod device to early next year. This will consequently benefit the manufacturers of the Echo speakers. 

On Tuesday, DigiTimes disclosed that the delayed release of Apple’s HomePod would translate to the domination of the Amazon Echo series in the market during the year-end holidays of 2017. The outlet also learned from a Chinese language report that Amazon has already received its supply of Echo Spot and Echo Show speakers for the holiday season. 

Amazon’s Echo speakers are being manufactured by Foxconn Electronics and Compal Electronics. It was reported that the latter has already delivered Amazon’s orders for its new display-featured speakers called the Echo Spot and Echo Show. In addition, Compal and Amazon are already preparing for the next-generation iterations for the following year. 

Interestingly, Foxconn is also joining Apple’s supply chain for the HomePod. So it seems the electronics company would be the one that’s greatly benefiting from both the delayed release of HomePod and the anticipated sale of the other HomePod speakers.

On the other hand, the delayed release of the HomePod is reportedly going to undermine Inventec’s shipment performance this quarter. Inventec is the primary manufacturer of the HomePod. Before the announcement of the rescheduled release of the device, Inventec CEO David Ho said in August that they were preparing to ship the smart home device later this year albeit in limited quantities, as per Apple Insider

Around the same time, an analyst predicted that Inventec would only be capable of shipping 500,000 units of the HomePod for the remainder of 2017. This was expected to increase the company’s revenue only by less than one percent. 

The news comes after Bloomberg revealed the story on why it took three years for Apple to come up with a competitor for the Amazon Echo. According to the publication’s sources, the HomePod actually started as a hobby project by Mac engineers in 2012. What’s quite startling is the tip that the project got canceled and resurrected “several times” before the HomePod became an official product. 

“The HomePod was originally a side project cooked up about five years ago by a group of Mac audio engineers, who wanted to create a speaker that sounded better than the ones sold by the likes of Bose, JBL and Harman Kardon. Side projects aren’t uncommon at Apple, where employees are encouraged to follow their muse so long as their day jobs come first,” people familiar with the matter said. 

The same sources noted that the HomePod will unfortunately be an inferior version of the Echo speaker despite having superior audio quality. “The HomePod won’t be able to do many of the things the Echo can. Amazon offers thousands of ‘skills’ (voice-activated apps) that let users do a range of things (including buy stuff from Amazon). The Google Home, which debuted earlier this year, is similarly endowed. The HomePod will be mostly limited to playing tunes from Apple Music, controlling Apple-optimized smart home appliances and sending messages through an iPhone,” the sources said. 

Apple introduced HomePod at the Worldwide Developers Conference this year. The $349 smart device that’s powered by an A8 chip was originally scheduled to launch this December. However, Apple announced recently that it has decided to push back the release of its highly anticipated HomePod speaker to early 2018.