Confirming previous rumours, a new Bloomberg report claims that Apple is indeed working on a Siri-based speaker to compete with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home. The Cupertino-based technology company has reportedly also started the production process of the upcoming smart-home device, adds the report citing people familiar with the matter.
Apple is speculated to launch the Siri-based speaker this month during its developers conference WWDC 2017, which is scheduled to be held from June 5-9 in San Jose, California. The speaker, however, may hit the store shelves later this year.
What is said to make the upcoming speaker special is its ability to deliver ‘virtual surround sound technology’ along with a deep integration with other Apple products. The report says that Apple’s new speaker could solve two key issues. One, prove to be a central hub to control smart-home devices via Apple’s HomeKit system. Two, help keep customers stay inside the Apple’s ecosystem, something that is likely to hurt Google and Amazon’s home automation devices.
The speaker, besides giving a boost to Apple HomeKit, may also integrate services like Apple Music. Inventec Corp, the company that also makes Apple’s wireless Airpods, is said to be manufacturing the speaker. The company’s employees are reportedly testing the device at their homes since past few months.
Talking more about the speakers, it is further said that Apple has considered using sensors in the speaker that measure the room’s acoustics and adjusts the level of sound accordingly. Apple is also speculated to keep the speaker restricted to its own apps but may open it up for third-party users as well, something it did with Siri last year. Unlike the new Amazon Echo, the Apple speaker may not include a display.
In addition to the speaker, Apple is rumoured to bring new versions of iOS, tvOS, macOS and watchOS. The company could also launch new iPad Pro models, including the rumoured 10.5-inch screen variant that is said to come in 9.7-inch iPad footprint, and a refreshed line of MacBook Pro with Intel ‘Kaby Lake’ processors.