Siri Speaker To Be Unveiled At WWDC, Apple Already Manufacturing Device Overseas

Posted June 01, 2017

Aside from what we've heard about the "Siri speaker" before (such as deep HomeKit integration and the ability to control smart home gadgets), today's Bloomberg report says that Apple is placing a heavy emphasis on sound quality.

The smart speaker space is heating up, with Amazon and Google already on the market and Essential coming soon.

Apple has commenced manufacturing of its rumoured Siri-controlled smart speaker, according to reports on Wednesday, which also outlined how the device could better those now on the market. However, the speaker may not be ready to ship to consumers until later in 2017.

Shares of Apple closed lower on Wednesday.

Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller said earlier in May that voice-control devices often need a screen. It'll also offer "virtual surround sound", Bloomberg said, which isn't available on Google Home or the Amazon Echo, and may improve the music-listening experience with louder speakers.

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Apple didn't respond to request for comment.

If the report proves true and Apple does announce the Siri Speaker at WWDC, the timing makes sense.

The final piece of the puzzle, of course, is to try and lock users further into Apple's ecosystem of products and services.

Apple hopes that more advanced acoustics technology will give the speaker an edge over competitors, according to people with knowledge of the product's development. Apple has also considered including sensors that measure a room's acoustics and automatically adjust audio levels during use, one of the people said. Notably, while Apple has questioned the utility of such a device without a screen and rival Amazon has just launched its Echo Show, Apple's speaker will not have a display, according to people who have seen it. Apple is also expected to unveil new MacBooks, new iPads, and a new Magic Keyboard at WWDC. Last year, Apple opened up Siri on the iPhone to the likes of Uber Technologies Inc. and Facebook Inc., allowing a user to order a ride or send a WhatsApp message with a voice command.