Friday, November 17, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

HomePod Delayed

Joe Rossignol (Hacker News):

Apple today announced it has delayed the release of the HomePod until early 2018. The speaker was originally set to launch in December.

Jason Snell:

Announcing a product in June for “late 2017” suggested to me it always had a good chance of slipping. That’s a long way off.

I am still trying to figure out why they announced it so far ahead. FUD? Overconfidence?

Ryan Jones:

This is Tim Cook’s Achilles heel – he let’s Wall Street pressure get to him – he announces and ships prematurely.

  • Mac Pro
  • Watch (original)
  • MacBook
  • AirPods
  • HomePod

Apple Watch missed 2014 holidays.

AirPods missed 2016 holidays.

HomePod missed 2017 holidays.

That’s really bad, really – perfect gifts.

Update (2017-11-20): Shira Ovide:

A delayed product on its own isn’t necessarily a big deal. Sure, Apple misses a shot at 2017 holiday sales for the HomePod, but this is a long game and one holiday season doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things for the world’s most valuable public company. The troubling thing, though, is product delays or other problems are no longer unusual for Apple.

Benjamin Mayo:

When Apple announced the HomePod at WWDC in June, I couldn’t understand why they chose to show it so far in advance. HomePod doesn’t have an SDK that developers could learn about, nor did it serve as a platform for a new wave of Siri features. Moreover, Apple didn’t need to scrape the barrel to find stuff to talk about. The WWDC keynote was jam-packed with hardware and software announcements. HomePod could have been cut and it would have still been a very impressive event.

I care less about the reason for the delay (it’s probably something boring) and more about why Apple felt pressured to announce their smart speaker prematurely in the first place.

Ryan Jones:

Tim is kowtowing to Wall Street – to the public. He’s muddying hardware launch stories with “delayed” and “out of stock”. He’s shipping unbaked software to annual dates.

Promise dates you can hit. Hell, stop promising dates! Do less and do it RIGHT (iOS).

The entire point of being super secret is to deliver “surprise and delight”.

And then you come out and promise a date you can’t hit!?

What a waste. What an unforced error. You just spoiled YOURSELF! Talk about “ruining engineers hard work”...YOU did it for no reason.

Update (2017-11-21): Mark Gurman (MacRumors):

More than two years passed. In that time Amazon’s Echo became a hit with consumers impressed by Alexa’s ability to answer questions, order pizzas and turn lights on and off. Meanwhile, Apple dithered over its own speaker, according to people familiar with the situation. The project was cancelled and revived several times, they said, and the device went through multiple permutations (at one point it stood 3 feet tall) as executives struggled to figure out how it would fit into the home and Apple’s ecosystem of products and services.

In the end, the company plowed ahead, figuring that creating a speaker would give customers another reason to stay loyal. Yet despite having all the ingredients for a serious competitor to the Echo—including Siri and the App Store—Apple never saw the HomePod as anything more than an accessory, like the AirPods earphones.

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