With Apple reportedly set to debut a Siri speaker at WWDC next week, Bloomberg reports production on the device has already begun. The device is said to go up against the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
However, the speaker reportedly won’t feature a screen, which Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller previously said is a key component to AI-based gadgets. Instead, the Siri-equipped device is said to look more like a Mac Pro and integrate deeply with Apple’s services.
The device will differ from Amazon.com Inc.’s Echo and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Home speakers by offering virtual surround sound technology and deep integration with Apple’s product lineup, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss products that aren’t yet public.
The virtual surround sound feature will reportedly be louder than its competitors as a key differentiator. Bloomberg reports the device may also include sensors capable of measuring a room’s acoustics and then automatically adjusting audio levels during use.
This is just speculation on our part, but the speaker will likely include Apple’s W1 chip to make it easy for iPhone users to connect to the device. According to Bloomberg, the speaker will act as a HomeKit hub, something Apple has sorely needed. It’s unclear how else the device will integrate with Apple’s wide produce lineup.
With Apple’s services becoming an integral part of its business, the Siri speaker is said to be a key way to develop those services. If the speaker does indeed break cover next week, expect Apple Music to play a prominent role in the announcement.
Inventec Corp., which manufactures the AirPods, is said to be producing the new speaker. Previous reports said Apple employees were already testing the device in their homes.
Although the speaker is rumored to break cover at WWDC next week, it’s unclear when it will launch. With production underway, however, it’s very likely to launch soon.