Apple is reportedly working on an Amazon Echo competitor, that much we already know thanks to a rumor from earlier this week. What we haven’t known, however, is what sort of form then new Siri-powered device will take. Now we might have a bit of an idea.
VentureBeat said on Thursday that Apple’s Amazon Echo and Google Home competitor will live inside a “refreshed Apple TV” instead of inside of a brand new product launched by Apple. Obviously this provides some obstacles, since the current Apple TV doesn’t have always-on microphones like the Amazon Echo does. Also, Siri hasn’t proven to be as powerful or accurate as Alexa, which is what makes Amazon’s device so attractive in the first place.
VentureBeat said Apple thought about creating a “standalone speaker just like Echo” but bailed on that idea. Certainly such a product might have a long turnaround time. Perhaps building those sorts of features into a new Apple TV, which was already planned, will make things a bit faster. The news outlet also suggested Apple has already spent a lot on the new Apple TV, though Apple isn’t exactly cash-strapped into a position where it can’t spend money on new products. It’s swimming in money.
The remote was the next obvious spot to control this new Amazon Echo competitor, but VentureBeat said the battery is a flaw in that design, since the product needs to be always-on and always listening.
The Apple TV makes sense, at least from the standpoint that the Amazon Echo is likely in a room where people might also have a TV (like a living room or bedroom.) It isn’t quite a unique idea, though. Amazon TV also has Amazon Alexa built-in. And there’s something compelling about a standalone unit that does nothing but assist you with what you need: directions, the weather, ordering stuff online. Apple will need to show us why that should also be inside of a set-top box.
The report earlier this week suggested Apple is ready to unveil its solution during WWDC 2016, which kicks off next month. That means we might also see a new Apple TV then, too.