Apple Reportedly Manufacturing Siri Speaker with Surround Sound, But No Screen


Apple has started production on a smart speaker powered by Siri and it could announce the device as soon as WWDC next week, say sources speaking to Bloomberg. 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. Unlike Google and Amazon, Apple doesn't sell a smart speaker that also serves as a smart home hub.

Bloomberg sources stated that the Apple smart speaker will differ from its competitors by bringing in "virtual surround sound technology" and deep integration with Apple's current lineup. The device likely won't be available until later this year, however.

Read the whole report over at Bloomberg. With WWDC set to kick off this coming Monday, we won't have to wait too much longer to find out. 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.

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Apple might also let third-party services develop products for the Siri device, the report said. Notably, while Apple has questioned the utility of such a device without a screen and rival Amazon has just launched its Echo Show, Apple's speaker will not have a display, according to people who have seen it. Apple is also expected to unveil new MacBooks, new iPads, and a new Magic Keyboard at WWDC. 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.

The final piece of the puzzle, of course, is to try and lock users further into Apple's ecosystem of products and services. The company also considered including sensors that would measure a room's acoustics and automatically adjust audio levels. Users will be able to book an Uber or send WhatsApp messages, the report suggests.