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. Apple's device will reportedly offer virtual surround sound and advanced acoustics technologies, and the speakers that Apple is now testing are said to be louder and crisper than competing products. Sources said that "Apple has also considered including sensors that measure a room's acoustics and automatically adjust audio levels during use".
However according to Bloomberg, citing sources close to Apple, the California tech giant may be about to reveal its new Siri-based rival to Echo and Home at WWDC. The rumor mills also state that Apple will incorporate surround sound technology in its first-gen smart speaker. Until now, Apple users haven't had that option, which is why a lot of them own an Echo or a Home.More news: Ariana Grande Announces Benefit Concert for Manchester Victims
Apple's WWDC keynote is coming up quickly; the event is happening this Monday starting at 10AM PT/1PM ET.
The device will be a hub for Apple's HomeKit home automation system, letting users control devices such as lights, door locks and window blinds.
The new speaker will take Siri out of the iPhone for the first time, with the aim of challenging the dominance of Amazon's Echo and Google's Home. The smart speaker is a whole new category that was created by Amazon back in 2014, and includes an AI assistant called Alexa.More news: Trump lashes out at leaks, considers staff upheaval
Services revenues are critical to Apple, accounting for about $24bn a year ago and this is set to double by 2020.
Apple also wants the speaker to have "more advanced acoustics technology" to set it ahead of the competition, with better "virtual sound" and crisper reproduction. It would be a seamless transition for iPhone owners to start barking out commands to a smart speaker in the same or similar fashion as communicating with Siri on a smartphone.
It has always been suspected that Apple will announce new MacBooks at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 5, 2017.More news: Police dashcam video shows Tiger Woods' sobriety test and arrest