Apple’s Siri Speaker Could Be Getting Ready for Prime Time
Apple is working its way towards the smart home, a new report says.
The technology giant is currently manufacturing a new smart home hub that would compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home, among others, Bloomberg is reporting, citing sources. The device could be unveiled on Monday at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) event, but likely won’t debut until later this year, the report says.
Rumors have been swirling for months that suggest Apple is working on a new smart home hub. The device, the rumors have said, would be powered by its virtual personal assistant Siri and would control smart home devices. It might also interact with third-party apps.
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A Siri-based speaker would put Apple (AAPL) in direct competition with Amazon’s Echo and Echo Show, as well as Google Home. All three devices similarly come with speakers and voice control. Amazon’s devices are powered by its virtual personal assistant Alexa. Google Home is powered by its Alexa and Siri alternative Google Assistant.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, Apple’s product would differ from Amazon (AMZN) and Google’s (GOOGL) products by integrating with other products from the company, including the iPhone and iPad. Apple is also bundling loud speakers in the device in hopes of topping its competitors. However, like its competitors, the speaker would allow users to control smart home gadgets and play music, and would support third-party apps, the Bloomberg sources say.
Last month, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller criticized current smart home hubs for not having a display, suggesting that if Apple is indeed working on an alternative, it would come with a screen. While Amazon last month unveiled the Echo Show, which has a screen, the Bloomberg sources say the Siri-based speaker won’t offer the feature.
Apple is holding a keynote to kick off WWDC at 1 p.m. on Monday. The company is expected to focus on software during its address, but as Bloomberg’s sources note, the speaker could make an appearance. Several rumors say Apple might also unveil a new iPad at the event.
Apple did not respond to a Fortune request for comment.