By the end of the year, Apple will have a Siri Speaker to
compete against Amazon Echo and Google Home.
According to a new report from
Bloomberg, Apple has started overseas production of its
Siri-enabled smart speaker. Apple could unveil this
highly-anticipated Siri Speaker onstage during the WWDC keynote
taking place on Monday, June 5, but the all-new device won’t be
ready to ship until later this year.
The Siri Speaker has been designed to compete against the
Amazon Echo and Google Home. To differentiate itself from those
other products, the Apple smart speaker will boast virtual
surround sound and will be more seamlessly integrated with
Apple products and services, like Apple Music. In addition, the
Siri Speaker will give Apple users a new hub for controlling
HomeKit-enabled devices around their home.
Bloomberg also revealed that Apple won’t integrate a screen in
its first iteration of the Siri Speaker. Earlier this month,
Apple’s senior V.P. of Marketing
Phil Schiller said that he wasn’t a fan of Amazon Echo or
Google Home because they lacked screens. Days later, Amazon
introduced Echo Show, a version of its flagship smart
speaker with a touchscreen.
The Siri Speaker is being produced by Inventec, the
Taipei-based manufacturer already responsible for making the
wireless AirPods. According to Bloomberg, the Siri Speaker has
been in development for a long time, reaching the advanced
prototype stage late last year. For several months
now, Apple employees have been secretly testing the device
in their own homes.
Why this matters: Apple is banking on a
smart speaker with superior sound quality and deeper ties to
the Apple ecosystem. Those two features seem certain, given the
Beats ownership and the new W1 chip that can pair devices
seamlessly. In addition, the Siri Speaker could include sensors
to measure indoor acoustics and automatically adjust audio
But will that be enough to make the Siri Speaker a must-have?
Amazon is already ahead in bringing third-party apps to its
Alexa-powered Echo devices, even Apple services like iCloud
calendar are being
brought to the fold. Meanwhile, Google has recently made
its AI assistant available on iOS,
pointing out some serious Siri fails. And HomeKit devices
can already be operated using an iPhone, iPad, or Apple