The upcoming Apple Siri Speaker is expected to launch in June 2017, rivalling the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers with its own Siri assistant.
First Amazon released its Alexa-packing voice controlled smart speaker, the Amazon Echo (and the dinkier Echo Dot). Soon after, Google jumped on the AI speaker wagon with its own version called Google Home. Which of course means Apple can't be far behind. In fact, Apple is already rumoured to be hard at work on a Siri speaker, ready to be unveiled in the very near future.
Although Apple's Echo and Google Home rival is very much in the rumour stages, it already sounds like it could be the centrepiece of any respectable Apple fanboy’s home. Best of all, the Apple speaker could be launched as soon as June. Apple is expected to announce the speaker at its Worldwide Developer Conference event, WWDC 2017, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
So what do we (think we) know so far about the Apple Siri Speaker? Here's a breakdown of the news and rumours right now. Also, check out our Google Home hub and Amazon Echo hub for all you need to know about the existing smart speakers if you can't wait for Apple's effort.
Apple Speaker to be powered by Siri
This one isn't exactly a stretch. Anyone with even the most vague interest in Apple could probably predict that its smart speaker should be powered by Siri, the AI found on the company's iPhone and iPad devices.
On the surface, this should mean a well-developed AI that’s able to understand a wide range of commands. Hopefully this will be a new, updated version of Siri too, to compete with the smarts of Samsung's Bixby. Under the top layer of interactions that should also mean plenty of controls beyond the speaker itself.
Control your Apple HomeKit using the Siri Speaker
Apple is expected to use the smart speaker as a home hub, allowing users to control their smarthome appliances with voice alone. Sure, the Amazon Echo and Google Home are already offering these smarts, but in typical Apple style expect this setup to work seamlessly.
Of course, this smarthome control will no doubt work best when using Apple devices connected to the network. If Apple has any hope of competing against the already established brands, it will need to be open to working with a wide range of third party hardware too.
Apple speaker should be higher quality than Amazon Echo and Google Home
In typical Apple style, the Siri Speaker is expected to be of a more premium quality than the competition.
For a start, the design should be truly stunning. Expect a sleek metal frame that blends in neatly with almost any decor, available in a range of colours. Rose gold, anyone? You can also expect a seriously high-quality speaker, boasting crisp, realistic audio reproduction and impressive music playback.
Apple's own processing tech will be stashed inside, offering a fast response time complete with nippy network connections.
When will the Apple Siri Speaker be released?
Expect to hear more about the Siri Speaker at the Apple WWDC 2017 event in June. Check out our guide to WWDC for specific information on kick-off times and the rest. If that's the case, you can expect the Apple speaker to be released in the UK in the second half of 2017.