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01 June 2017, 12:45 | Deanna Wagner
Apple is reportedly ready to announce its Siri-powered smart speaker and could do so during its developer conference next month, Bloomberg said on Thursday. That product was created to more closely resemble a Sonos-like Wifi-connected device without a smart assistant, and was killed by Apple following the acquisition. That would help combat the competitive threat from Google's and Amazon's connected speakers: the Home and Echo mostly don't support services from Apple. The device likely won't be available until later this year, however.
And of course, the device would lean heavily on integration with Apple's ecosystem. Soon, a device embossed with "Designed by Apple in California" may be on your nightstand or kitchen counter as well.
Apple's speaker is going to use the company's Siri assistant, and will be capable of controlling internet-connected appliances through Apple's HomeKit platform, according to the report.
Three years later, Apple has yet to introduce a voice-control speaker that isn't tied to its mobile software iOS. However, it'll also take on other tasks to help distinguish itself in the increasingly crowded smart speaker market. Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated during the past few earnings calls that he expects Apple's services business to reach the size of a Fortune 100 company within the next few years, offsetting flagging hardware sales. Apple last updated the 9.7-inch iPad Pro in March 2016 and hasn't refreshed the larger 12.9-inch model since its November 2015 debut. The unannounced produced will supposedly include "virtual surround sound technology" and "more advanced acoustics" than its chief competitors made by Amazon and Google. Apple may also let third-party services build products for its speaker.
The company is also looking to tailor the audio to users' living environments by adding sensors to measure room accoustics, according to today's piece. Users will be able to book an Uber or send WhatsApp messages, the report suggests.
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