Apple’s grand unveiling of its Siri-powered home speaker could come as soon as next week, according to a new report that claims production on the new device is already underway.
Whispers that Apple is working on a speaker to rival the Amazon Echo and Google Home have been swirling around the rumor mill for months. Even though Apple execs have downplayed the possibility of a Siri speaker in the past, but it looks like it’s about to become a reality. And it will boast some new tech its rivals don’t have.
“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,” reports Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.
By releasing the new Siri speaker, Apple will be able to provide iOS users with a hub to automate home appliances and lights through HomeKit. It could also help lock customers deeper into Apple’s ecosystem and services.
Boosting services through the speaker could be key for Apple to hit its goal of doubling services revenue by 2020. If it does, Apple’s services will generate enough money to be a Fortune 100 company all on its own.
Manufacturing of the speaker will allegedly be done by Inventec Corp. The Taipei manufacturer also makes Apple’s new AirPod wireless earbuds that have earned rave reviews since their debut last year.
Along with packing surround sound audio, Apple has also considered adding sensors that can measure the acoustics of a room and then adjust levels automatically. Third-party services will also likely be integrated into the speaker so that it is more competitive with the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
If Apple does announce the speaker at WWDC don’t expect it to be available immediately. The report claims that units won’t ship until later this year, giving devs plenty of time to integrate their applications with it.