Amazon is supposedly working on a Siri-powered speaker, and according to a new report, it's now in production.
Apple plans to go after both Amazon Echo and Google Home with its own assistant-enabled speaker. There have been several leaks and reports about this unconfirmed device, which you can read all about here in Pocket-lint's round-up, but strangely, we've yet to see any images of it leak out through the press. Nevertheless, Bloomberg said it is still coming and that Apple has started manufacturing it.
Most people think it could be announced at WWDC 2017, Apple's annual developers conference that kicks off in June. But if it's only now entering production, don't expect to buy one right off. Apparently, the speaker "will not be ready" to ship until later in the year, but it'll be louder and better-sounding than the existing competition, as it will offer up a "virtual surround sound" - whatever that means.
We're thinking it can just fill a room with sound, like 360-degree speakers do. Apple reportedly has also mulled the idea of including sensors that auto-adjust sound levels based on room noise, which means it might be able to lower music if you're talking, but that's not confirmed. It would also integrate with Apple's ecosystem, so you should be able to control HomeKit-capable smart home devices.
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If it does work with third-party services as well, then we should definitely hear something about it at WWDC, because that would give developers time to offer support before the speaker launches. Although WWDC doesn't usually include hardware, there are other reports claiming that Apple may use the show to update its Mac and iPad lineups. Check out our WWDC guide for more details on that.
Pocket-lint will bring you the latest from WWDC as it happens.