Siri speaker might be an Echo for audiophiles

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The Amazon Echo may finally have competition from Apple.
The Amazon Echo may finally have competition from Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A Siri smart speaker will bring better audio (and a higher price tag) than the Amazon Echo, and we might get our first look next month, according to a prominent analyst.

KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo says it’s increasingly likely Apple will debut its high-end audio device at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, paving the way for Siri to move into a prominent place in your home.

“We believe there is over (a) 50 percent chance that Apple will announce its first home AI product at WWDC in June and start selling in the second half of 2017,” Kuo said in a note to clients, MacRumors reports.

Kuo said the smart speaker would bring computing power similar to the iPhone 6s and deliver high-end audio thanks to “one woofer and seven tweeters.” Advanced hardware would make the Siri speaker a high-end alternative to Amazon’s revolutionary Echo and Dot devices, according to Kuo.

“The product is likely to be positioned for: (i) the high-end market; (ii) better entertainment experience; and (iii) higher price than Amazon Echo,” he said.

Siri speaker to look like Mac Pro?

This report comes three days after Twitter tipster Sonny Dickson’s claim that Apple is close to finalizing the design of an AI home device and might be ready to show it off at WWDC.

Dickson said the device’s design is now being finalized but it Apple’s smart speaker would be powered by a version of iOS and “some form” of Beats audio technology. Dickson told MacRumors that “someone inside Apple” described the device as “fat” like the Google Home speaker, with mesh fabric covering the majority of the device and a concave top similar to that of the Mac Pro.

Apple has been working on a voice-controlled smart speaker for two years. Reports last fall from Bloomberg claimed Apple was in the prototyping stage, complete with facial recognition so the device could be activated by multiple users.

The Apple device would go head-to-head with the Amazon Echo, which debuted in 2014, and Google Home, which launched late last year.

Via: iDownload Blog