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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has long thought to be working on a product to rival Amazon Alexa and the Echo speaker. Now it is reported that any such designs are in the final stages.

According to Sonny Dickson, who has hit the nail on the head many times in the past when it comes to Apple, the company is currently "finalising designs" for its Alexa competitor.

Posting on Twitter, he added that any device will be marketed as a Siri/Airplay product.

Apple's plans for an Amazon Echo-style speaker emerged a year ago. It was reported since that a new device will control your smarthome kit through Siri voice control.

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The company has allegedly been working on the project for more than two years, which explains why we've heard similar rumours previously, but it seems the research and development phase is now over.

Mark Gurman at Bloomberg originally said that the new device will be able to control appliances, locks, lights and curtains via voice activation.

It was also suggested that an Apple speaker could trump the Amazon Echo. It was claimed that it'll feature more advanced microphone and speaker technologies. Early prototypes are said to have included facial recognition sensors, using tech Apple acquired when it bought both Faceshift and Emotient in the last couple of years.

Apple has naturally declined to comment throughout, but considering Amazon has had great success with its Echo speaker, we can see why the Cupertino firm is so keen to nab a slice of the smarthome assistant market.

Writing by Rik Henderson.