According to a report by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (dubbed the “best Apple analyst on the planet” by some), the tech giant is tipped to launch its own version of a smart home speaker with its famous AI assistant Siri at your beck and call.
Kuo believes that Apple will position the device as a more premium product than others on the market with superior acoustics and computing power, and a higher price tag to match.
Additionally, Melbourne-based Apple leaker Sonny Dickson has predicted the company would launch the Siri speaker at its annual developers conference in early June, for the device to go on sale in the second half of the year.
Apple has been working to majorly overhaul Siri and it's capabilities, for all devices, but most notably their upcoming smarthome device.— Sonny Dickson (@SonnyDickson) May 1, 2017
The potential home speaker — the likes of which are designed to be the focal point of a connected lounge room — would directly compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home which have carved out a dominant stake in the emerging market.
However, the product might look a little different than the Google Home and Amazon Echo with a screen being a differentiating factor. Apple executive Phil Schiller in an interview has hinted that there are more benefits of having a voice-controlled smart assistant which includes a screen in the design.
“There is a lot of talk in the industry about voice-driven assistants and we believe deeply in voice-driven assistants that’s why invest in Siri,” he said during the interview, adding, that he didn’t think that such products functioned optimally without a screen.
“There’s many moments where a voice assistant is really beneficial, but that doesn’t mean you’d never want a screen. So the idea of not having a screen, I don’t think suits many situations,” he said.
“For example if I’m looking for directions and I’m using Maps, Siri can tell me those directions by voice and that’s really convenient but it’s even better if I can see that map.”
Apple’s developers conference is expected take place on June 5 to 9 in California.