Apple is already manufacturing its Siri-powered speaker

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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

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.

iPhone 8 could start at $1,000

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money
Start saving now for this year's iPhone!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

According to Goldman Sachs, the iPhone 8 is set to be Apple’s priciest iPhone ever by quite a wide margin. A note from analyst Simona Jankowski claims the next-gen iPhone will carry the suitably next-gen price of $1,000.

More specifically, Jankowski predicts that the 128GB iPhone 8 will sell for $999, while the 256GB version will set you back a whopping $1,099.

iPhone 8 delay? Nah, it will probably arrive the same time as usual

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iphone 8 display
The iPhone 8 is going to be Apple's biggest upgrade since 2014.
Photo: Martin Hajek

Despite rumors claiming the contrary, there will be no delay in the launch of the iPhone 8, claims China’s Economic Daily News.

Citing sources in the downstream supply chain, the newspaper says new iPhones will start selling in October, and not as late as 2018 as some reports have claimed.

Apple places orders for its Amazon Echo rival

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amazon-echo-adds-spotify-to-its-musical-repertoire-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201602amazon-echo-jpg
Standalone Siri speaker could be shown at this year's WWDC.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has reportedly placed the first orders for its standalone Siri smart speaker, a device designed to rival the Amazon Echo.

Inventec, the Taiwan company that makes Apple’s popular AirPods, received the order, which was reported by the Chinese-language Economic Daily News. No order numbers or production timeline have been revealed, although previous reports suggest Apple could unveil the device this June at its Worldwide Developers Conference.

Drastic new changes coming to an Apple store near you, this week on The CultCast

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Cupertino has a new vision for the Apple Store.
Cupertino has a new vision for the Apple Store.
Photo: CBS

This week on The CultCast: Apple stores are about to get a massive 2.0 overhaul, and we’ve got all the details. Plus: Why the iPhone 8 may launch super-late and with no OLED screen; Final Cut Pro X hits a massive milestone; Google co-founder makes a flying car, and you’re gonna want one; and we reveal our favorite new gadgets in an all-new Under Review!

Our thanks to Blue Apron for supporting this episode. Blue Apron makes it easy to cook delicious meals at home. See their upcoming menu and get your first three meals free at BlueApron.com/CultCast.

Leaked iPhone 8 schematic reveals dual-lens front camera and more

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iphone
We hope the next iPhone is this beautiful.
Photo: AlHasan Husni

Another alleged iPhone 8 schematic has leaked out of China, providing new details about Apple’s upcoming handset — including the tech behind its wireless charging capability.

The supposed iPhone 8 drawing surfaced on Weibo today. Unlike the last two schematics that leaked, this one includes detailed labeling of each part, revealing a dual-lens camera in the front and wireless charging in the back.

Hey, Siri! Apple finalizing designs for new smart speaker

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The Amazon Echo may finally have competition from Apple.
The Amazon Echo is one of the most innovative tech products in recent years.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is currently finalizing designs for its Amazon Echo competitor, claims renowned Apple tipster Sonny Dickson.

According to Dickson, the Echo rival is likely be “marketed as an Siri/AirPlay device,” representing the next step in Siri’s evolution. It is also set to involve some form of Beats technology, and will run an operating system based on iOS. Color us cautiously intrigued!

‘Leaked’ iPhone 8 schematic reveals mysterious circle on back

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The big circle in the back might be for wireless charging.
The big circle in the back might be for wireless charging.
Photo: KKSneakLeaks

The Apple rumor mill has churned out yet another alleged schematic for the upcoming iPhone 8, only this time the drawing doesn’t depict a Touch ID sensor in the back.

In the iPhone 8 drawing that surfaced today, Apple appears to have made some big changes — including adding a big area in the back for wireless charging. According to one leaker, the feature would require iPhone 8 owners to keep the device on a charging pad to get juice.

Powermat backs off claim that next iPhone will get wireless charging

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This iPhone 7 concept has wireless charging, but the real thing (probably) won't.
2017 will be the year iPhone gets wireless charging.
Photo: Ivo Marić and Tomislav Rastovac

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a response from Powermat Technlogies.

One of the most heavily rumored features of the next iPhone was seemingly confirmed by a wireless charging accessory maker before being quickly disavowed. In a press release sent out today for something not even related to Apple, Powermat Technologies CEO Elad Dubzinski claimed wireless charging would become a “standard feature” in the 2017 iPhone lineup.

When contacted by Cult of Mac, Powermat said, basically, that the company doesn’t know what it’s talking about. “It’s all speculation at this point,” a Powermat rep said. “We have no inside information. Sorry to mislead.”