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Apple's (AAPL) - Get Free Report move into the smart speaker space has been put on hold.

It is being widely reported that the iPhone maker has delayed the launch of its HomePod, a home speaker/assistant device, until 2018.

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In a statement to TheStreet, Apple said:

"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."

Apple first unveiled the HomePod in June at its Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. 

Shares of Apple were lower in afternoon trading on Friday. 

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