Ahead of WWDC, Apple is reportedly placing the final touches on a Siri-powered smart speaker to compete with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Given Apple’s apparent lack of response to the emergence of smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, the sudden emergence of news surrounding the company’s reported development of a Siri-powered smart speaker seems to indicate that the Cupertino company has broken out of a lull.
Bloomberg reports today that production has been green-lighted for the speaker, and that the device might only be ready to ship towards the end of the year. However, it is suggested that Apple could unveil the unit at WWDC in a bid to entice developer interest. Read: WWDC 2017: What could we see from Apple this year?
Interestingly, Bloomberg reports that despite rumours surrounding the fact that Apple is eager to produce a smart speaker with a display – much like the Amazon Echo Show – its upcoming Siri-powered speaker will not feature a display.
Bloomberg cites that “Introducing a speaker would serve two main purposes: providing a hub to automate appliances and lights via Apple’s HomeKit system, and establishing a bulwark inside the home to lock customers more tightly into Apple’s network of services.”
Apple will reportedly seek to differentiate its Siri-powered speaker from its competitors by offering superior sound quality, including support for virtual surround sound output.
The Cupertino company is expected to debut the system at WWDC in a bid to tightly integrate the speaker with third-party services and apps. It remains to be seen whether the device will run on its own operating system, as some rumours have indicated that the speaker might run on a fork of iOS. Read: Dimensions be damned: Is this the iPhone 8 next to the iPhone 7?
What are your thoughts? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below, and be sure to listen in to the latest episode of Bandwidth Blog On Air where we unpack our thoughts on WWDC with Mark Pilgrim!