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Apple's rumored Siri smart speaker, which is designed to compete with the Google Home and Amazon Echo, is already in production ahead of a prospective debut at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, reports Bloomberg.

Citing sources "familiar with the matter," Bloomberg says production has already started on the speaker, but it is not expected to be ready to ship until later in the year. Still, Apple could introduce the speaker at WWDC, which kicks off next Monday.

Despite rumors hinting at a touch screen, and comments from Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller questioning the usefulness of an AI-based speaker product without a screen, the upcoming Siri speaker will not feature a display.

siri-smart-speaker.jpg
A Siri speaker mockup with a "Mac Pro-like" concave design (Image via iFunnyVlogger)

Instead, Apple will differentiate its speaker from Amazon and Google offerings through deep integration with Apple products and superior sound quality, including virtual surround sound technology. The speaker is said to be louder and "reproduce sound more crisply" than the Home and the Echo, and it could also include sensors for measuring a room's acoustics and adjusting audio levels automatically during use.

As with the Echo and the Home, Apple's speaker will likely support third-party services and apps, allowing it to perform a wide range of tasks. It will also serve as a HomeKit hub.
Introducing a speaker would serve two main purposes: providing a hub to automate appliances and lights via Apple's HomeKit system, and establishing a bulwark inside the home to lock customers more tightly into Apple's network of services.
Inventec, the company that manufactures Apple's AirPods, is said to be manufacturing the speaker, which has, as was previously reported, been tested in the homes of Apple employees for several months.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously said there was a greater than 50 percent chance the speaker would be introduced at WWDC, so we may get our first look at the device next week. Rumors have suggested it will feature a Mac Pro-like concave top with built-in controls and a "fat" body covered in speaker mesh.

Along with the Siri speaker, Apple may also introduce new 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models and new Macs at WWDC.

Article Link: Rumored Siri Speaker in Production Ahead of Possible WWDC Debut
 

macsplusmacs

macrumors 68000
Nov 23, 2014
1,541
7,035
Wonder if this will allow those of that like the idea of Sonos but won't buy one since its support is wishy washy for MY needs, a viable alternative.

And what happens if they come out with satellite speaker only (by Beats)


interesting times.
 
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RickInHouston

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2014
1,456
2,199
Wonder if this will allow those of that like the idea of Sonos but won't buy one since its support is wishy washy for MY needs, a viable alternative.

And what happens if they come out with satellite speaker only (by Beats)


interesting times.

I don't see how you can compare this to Sonos. Yes, to Echo and Google Home.
 

macduke

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
12,063
17,093
Central U.S.
I think Apple will unveil it at WWDC alongside advancements in Siri and new APIs, and say that it's launching in autumn. This will give developers time to add support for it ahead of launch. Apple will again show it at the autumn iPhone event, maybe show something "extra" about it, and announce the pricing/release date info.

I tend to think that Apple will price something like this in the $99-149 range, and will want you to buy several for your house. I think such a device will also act as a mesh WiFi network, enabling better coverage throughout the home. This device will also act as a HomeKit hub, and having them scattered around the home will also increase range for bluetooth smart devices. It will also act as an AirPlay speaker, and it will be a good quality one. The secret announcement in September might be that these also act as wireless charging basestations, but that seems increasingly unlikely.
 

shk718

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2007
1,118
1,098
based on Phil's comments I bet it connects to a TV to provide visual information either directly or using airplay via apple tv. Doesn't virtual surround sound require a long horizontal bar to bounce the sound from the back wall? And why would music need surround sound? I think this will be the new apple tv - i hope!!!
 
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pmbooks

macrumors 6502
May 23, 2005
276
34
California
Until Siri can understand the city name Yucaipa, I've zero patience for it. That city name is simply the bellwether I check from time to time to gauge whether they've improved the app. Google understands my voice (and that city) quite accurately.

I have great pronunciation but Siri simply doesn't understand me as clearly as Google. I REALLY wish it were otherwise.
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,778
41,978
USA
If this does not come in at 199 or below, it's a shame. If they can truly position the speaker as so much better - then perhaps $249. But that's really pushing it for this type of tech when you can get Google Home, Amazon Echo/dot/etc for 199 or much less.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Westmere
Jul 12, 2016
37,584
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The product nobody asked for.

Why does someone have to ask for it? So..Apple can't expand beyond computers and iPhones?

Did Amazon ask others if anyone wanted the Echo? Did Google ask if they should have sold the Home? I'm not following your viewpoint on a company that manufactures electronic products, as Do the other competitors.
 

csurfr

macrumors 68020
Dec 7, 2016
2,310
1,748
Seattle, WA
Wonder if this will allow those of that like the idea of Sonos but won't buy one since its support is wishy washy for MY needs, a viable alternative.

And what happens if they come out with satellite speaker only (by Beats)


interesting times.

You are absolutely correct. I would drop my Sonos Play:1 in a heartbeat for this. ONLY because I would like to be able to AirPlay from my AppleTV. I honestly don't know why this functionality hasn't been added to the Sonos...
 

mozumder

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2009
1,162
3,988
i could use a 17" 16:9 iPad with a stand and optional detachable keyboard for the nightstand, since it seems I use my current iPad pro more for TV/movie watching.

Something like this would sell millions, just as a small bedroom/night-stand TV device.
 
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Fall Under Cerulean Kites

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2016
272
851
Wonder if this will allow those of that like the idea of Sonos but won't buy one since its support is wishy washy for MY needs, a viable alternative.

Sonos is an excellent platform that could sorely benefit from voice integration with a service of some sort ala Siri. “Siri, play Phish in my kitchen and living room.” Sonos excells at playing music with no noticible lag between devices / zones. Sonos also has more than just boxes with spekers. They have standalone amps, and players to connect to existing amps. That offers a lot of variety in configurations and use scenarios.

And what happens if they come out with satellite speaker only (by Beats)

Then they would be more of a Sonos competor. Siri in a can, by itself? Not a chance. But even then, I’d prefer Sonos as a music playing appliance or gateway, that’s controlled by voice via a standardized platform, like Siri.
 
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