Apple is reportedly working on a Siri-powered smart speaker, and the latest rumor regarding the device claims that it may be unveiled as soon as the upcoming Worldwide Developer Conference.
Apple will hold WWDC 2017 from June 5 to June 9. The annual event has been held in San Francisco for the past 13 years, but for this year, it will be in San Jose, which is the original site of the WWDC.
Apple Siri Smart Speaker In The Works
According to Australian leaker Sonny Dickson, Apple is currently finalizing the design of its smart speaker, which will be powered by digital assistant Siri and will support AirPlay.
Dickson added that the device will integrate some form of technology from Beats, likely related to the Apple unit's audio hardware expertise. The smart speaker is also said to be running a variant of Apple's mobile operating system iOS, which may be similar to watchOS for the Apple Watch and tvOS for the Apple TV. A custom iOS for the Siri speaker would mean that third-party developers will be able to create apps for the device.
The Siri smart speaker, internally codenamed B238, will have a concave top that resembles that of the Mac Pro, along with built-in controls. An Apple employee allegedly told Dickson that the device is a "fat" one like the Google Home, and will have most of its exterior covered in speaker mesh.
Lastly, the Apple employee told Dickson that Apple is planning to unveil the smart speaker at this year's WWDC. However, there is still the possibility that the company will change the plan and unveil the device at a later date.
The rumors contradict a previous report that claims that Apple is not focusing on creating a smart speaker to challenge the Amazon Echo and Google Home, and will instead showcase Siri through the company's current range of products.
Will The Apple Speaker Be A Worthy Challenger To Amazon Echo, Google Home?
With Apple's continued development of Siri to rival Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant, the development of its own speaker to challenge the Amazon Echo and Google Home is a logical next step for the company.
The question, however, is whether the Apple speaker will prove to be a worthy challenger to the Amazon Echo and Google Home once it is released.
With not much known yet regarding the device, it is difficult to say how well it will look alongside its future smart speaker rivals. However, if it will indeed feature a custom OS, the Apple speaker will be better positioned to take on the Amazon Echo and the Alexa skills that third-party developers create for the device.
In that case, the announcement of the Siri smart speaker at the WWDC will make sense, as it will be in front of developers who will build up the ecosystem of functions that will power the device. If Apple pushes through with its plan of unveiling the speaker at the event, users should expect to learn about the device's price, release date, and other important details.