Apple's Siri-Powered AI Speaker Reportedly In Production, May Debut At WWDC

Reportedly, the speaker will not only play music and other audio, but it's also aimed squarely at the smart home - internet connected devices like lights and appliances that can be controlled remotely. Rumors also indicate that the new version of Siri that is expected to be released alongside the iOS 11 will soon be linked to users instead of their devices. Yet the Bloomberg report did add that "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". The report says that Apple would allow third parties to build services for the speaker. Google Home launched a year ago, with Amazon Echo launching in 2014. Apple should announce the Siri speaker during the WWDC keynote address, which begins on Monday at 10 a.m. PDT. Apple will certainly need to improve its AI functionality before users will be willing to let it control their homes.

It won't have a bloody screen though, the report notes, despite Apple's Phil Schiller last month dissing Amazon's screen-less Echo and Google Home for their lack of built-in display.

Apple said that apps in the Gaming and Entertainment categories bring in the most revenue, with hit games helping with the revenue figure. The smart speaker market is one that is growing.

So... why should you get this over Amazon and Google's efforts, then?

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Rumors of a Siri speaker raises the question of what Microsoft has in the works to keep its Cortana voice assistant competitive. The company expects service revenue to double by 2020 from last year's US$24bn. That includes virtual surround sound, in addition to speakers that are both louder and that "reproduce sound more crisply" than what's already on the market.

Ahead of Apple's launch, the competition has upgraded their speakers with support for making voice calls, while Amazon's gained a touchscreen.

Even though the device may be unveiled at WWDC, it not expected to ship until later this year, possibly coinciding with the traditional launch of the next iPhone in September.

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