The 10 Biggest Apple Stories Of 2017
9. Apple Falls Further Behind On Smart Speakers
2017 has been the year that the smart speaker trend, popularized by Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo devices, truly took off. But Apple was left out. As Amazon, Google, Sonos, Samsung, and other vendors launched voice-controlled speakers, Apple stumbled in the launch of its initial smart speaker offering, the HomePod. Apple had announced the HomePod in June, and said the Siri-powered speaker would debut in December. But the company ended up pushing the launch into early 2018 ("we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers," Apple said in a statement). The delay is significant not just because it means Apple misses the holiday shopping season. It also underscores the fact once again that Apple had a big head start on voice recognition -- Siri first came out in 2011 -- but failed to capitalize on the technology in the way that Amazon and Google have.