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Rumored Siri Speaker in Production Ahead of Possible WWDC Debut

Apple's rumored Siri smart speaker, which is designed to compete with the Google Home and Amazon Echo, is already in production ahead of a prospective debut at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, reports Bloomberg.

Citing sources "familiar with the matter," Bloomberg says production has already started on the speaker, but it is not expected to be ready to ship until later in the year. Still, Apple could introduce the speaker at WWDC, which kicks off next Monday.

Despite rumors hinting at a touch screen, and comments from Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller questioning the usefulness of an AI-based speaker product without a screen, the upcoming Siri speaker will not feature a display.

A Siri speaker mockup with a "Mac Pro-like" concave design (Image via iFunnyVlogger)

Instead, Apple will differentiate its speaker from Amazon and Google offerings through deep integration with Apple products and superior sound quality, including virtual surround sound technology. The speaker is said to be louder and "reproduce sound more crisply" than the Home and the Echo, and it could also include sensors for measuring a room's acoustics and adjusting audio levels automatically during use.

As with the Echo and the Home, Apple's speaker will likely support third-party services and apps, allowing it to perform a wide range of tasks. It will also serve as a HomeKit hub.
Introducing a speaker would serve two main purposes: providing a hub to automate appliances and lights via Apple's HomeKit system, and establishing a bulwark inside the home to lock customers more tightly into Apple's network of services.
Inventec, the company that manufactures Apple's AirPods, is said to be manufacturing the speaker, which has, as was previously reported, been tested in the homes of Apple employees for several months.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously said there was a greater than 50 percent chance the speaker would be introduced at WWDC, so we may get our first look at the device next week. Rumors have suggested it will feature a Mac Pro-like concave top with built-in controls and a "fat" body covered in speaker mesh.

Along with the Siri speaker, Apple may also introduce new 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models and new Macs at WWDC.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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30 months ago
Well Apple better drastically improve Siri.
Rating: 57 Votes
30 months ago
The product nobody asked for.
Rating: 47 Votes
30 months ago
Looks like they found a home for all those unused Mac Pro Housings.
Rating: 44 Votes
30 months ago
Am I the only one who thinks these things are useless? I mean, why would you not want to just raise your wrist and ask Siri something there? You have to be in the specific room to use one of these...
Rating: 37 Votes
30 months ago
If they don't improve Siri this product is basically DOA
Rating: 27 Votes
30 months ago
An Apple employee confirmed that as well:

Rating: 24 Votes
30 months ago
I don't even use Siri on a device I have literally ALWAYS with me because it's so frustrating to ask her anything. Even more senseless on Apple TV and Mac IMO.
Rating: 23 Votes
30 months ago
Tim Cook's Apple is wandering aimlessly grasping at fads and buzzwords.

Anyone want to bet that MacMinis or Pro will even get a mention at WWDC?
Rating: 19 Votes
30 months ago
It'll also be differentiated by using a brain-dead AI engine behind it. Siri isn't just behind, it's getting worse. Unfortunately that's been the story with Apple recently, neat hardware undermined by buggy, unstable, ill-designed software.
Rating: 18 Votes
30 months ago
I think Apple will unveil it at WWDC alongside advancements in Siri and new APIs, and say that it's launching in autumn. This will give developers time to add support for it ahead of launch. Apple will again show it at the autumn iPhone event, maybe show something "extra" about it, and announce the pricing/release date info.

I tend to think that Apple will price something like this in the $99-149 range, and will want you to buy several for your house. I think such a device will also act as a mesh WiFi network, enabling better coverage throughout the home. This device will also act as a HomeKit hub, and having them scattered around the home will also increase range for bluetooth smart devices. It will also act as an AirPlay speaker, and it will be a good quality one. The secret announcement in September might be that these also act as wireless charging basestations, but that seems increasingly unlikely.
Rating: 18 Votes

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