The Apple HomePod is Apple's latest home device release. Apple

Apple promised to release the HomePod in December, but the company now says it won’t start shipping them until next year.

Apple revealed the HomePod at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June and had said it would come out for the holiday season, but that won’t be the case anymore.

Apple told International Business Time in a statement:

“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. We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.”

HomePod Misses Out On Holiday Season

The delayed release date means that people who wanted to buy the HomePod for the holidays won’t be able to anymore. Consumers will have to opt for HomePod rivals, the Amazon Echo gadgets and the Google Home, instead this holiday season. Amazon is also offering much cheaper prices for its Amazon Echo Dot and its second-generation Echo device for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Apple’s holiday gift guide website, which was launched this week, pushes other recently-released products to shoppers instead, like the iPhone 8, iPhone X and Apple Watch Series 3.

Apple HomePod Features

The 6.8-inch tall HomePod weighs 5.5 pounds and is powered by Siri. The device includes Apple’s A8 chip, which is also found in the iPhone 6, and features a “seamless mesh fabric designed for both aesthetic and acoustic performance,” Apple describes on its HomePod webpage. The speaker comes with a high‑excursion woofer, seven horn-loaded tweeters, each with its own custom amplifier and a six-microphone array.

The HomePod will be able to detect where in the room it has been placed, whether next to a wall or on a table. The gadget will have multiroom speaker support with AirPlay 2 and will be able to sense when another HomePod has been added. Besides voice control, users can also tap the top of HomePod to play, pause, or change the volume.

The speaker will come in White and Space Gray colors and has a $349 price tag. The price is much higher than the Echo Dot, which is currently priced at $49.99, and even the most expensive Echo device, the $229 Echo Show.

However, Apple CEO Tim Cook defended the prices during an interview in June, saying that the HomePod is going to be worth it. To differentiate the product from competitors, Apple revealed the HomePod as a speaker rather than a home assitant like the Alexa devices.

“When I was growing up, audio was No. 1 on the list of things that you had to have,” Cook said in the interview. “You were jammin’ out on your stereo. Audio is still really important in all age groups, not just for kids. We’re hitting on something people will be delighted with. It’s gonna blow them away. It’s gonna rock the house.”