Apple has started production on a smart speaker powered by Siri and it could announce the device as soon as WWDC next week, say sources speaking to Bloomberg. However, the speaker may not be ready to ship to consumers until later in 2017.
Apple will reportedly focus on the speaker’s sound quality as a way to help it stand out from competition like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home. Apple’s device will reportedly offer virtual surround sound and advanced acoustics technologies, and the speakers that Apple is currently testing are said to be louder and crisper than competing products.
Other rumored features of this Apple smart speaker include integration with smart home devices that support Apple’s HomeKit, giving users control over lights, door locks and more. Apple may also let third-party services build products for its speaker.
If Apple is indeed planning to introduce its smart speaker at WWDC, it’s possible that the company hopes to launch the device at its annual fall iPhone event and give developers a few months’ time to build apps for it. As for the speaker itself, a focus on high-quality audio could be a good way to help it stand out. While the Amazon Echo and Google Home can play music, they aren’t considered to be high-quality speakers, so Apple could use improved sound quality as a differentiator since many folks use these speakers in places like the kitchen.
Does the Apple smart speaker described in today’s report interest you?