In one short statement, Apple has pushed back the shipping date of HomePod pre-orders from December to early 2018. The company put out this general release:
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.
The Siri-powered speaker was revealed at WWDC this year, but there’s been some market chatter about tough production runs with low stock projected at launch. It looks like any production that’ll happen from here will be saved up for the winter.
9to5Mac reports that the AirPlay 2 standard is being touched up and that could be responsible for the delays. The AirPods were similarly delayed by months for unverified production issues and then plagued with shipping queues of several weeks.