Smart speakers like Amazon's Echo line and Google Home are proving very popular, so it wasn’t too surprising when rumors of Apple’s interest in the market surfaced last year. Now, a new report says that a Siri-controlled device is already being manufactured and will be unveiled at WWDC next week, but the launch date won’t arrive until later in the year.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s recent prediction that Apple could show off a smart speaker at its Worldwide Developers Conference has been echoed by Bloomberg, which cites “people familiar with the matter.”
The report claims that Apple’s speaker will differ from those already available through its focus on sound quality. It’s said to feature “virtual sound technology” and “more advanced acoustics” than what Amazon and Google offer in their devices, resulting in a louder and crisper room-filling experience. It may even contain sensors that measure the noise in a room and automatically adjust sound levels accordingly.
Apple Music will likely be a big feature of the speaker, as will intelligent assistant Siri and Apple’s HomeKit system, which lets users control compatible smart home devices. “This will be a platform for developing Apple’s services,” Gene Munster, a co-founder of Loup Ventures and former Apple analyst, told Bloomberg.
Third-party services are also “likely” to be supported – a possible explanation behind the late launch, as this gives developers more time to work on supporting the speaker.
Inventec Corp., the Taiwanese manufacturer that makes Apple’s AirPod headphones, will build the device, which has secretly been tested in the homes of Apple employees for the last few months.
Apple is also said to be revealing new software, updated MacBook Pros, and several iPads at WWDC.