Mark Gurman and Alex Webb, reporting for Bloomberg:
The iPhone-maker has started manufacturing a long-in-the-works Siri-controlled smart speaker, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple could debut the speaker as soon as its annual developer conference in June, but the device will not be ready to ship until later in the year, the people said.
The device will differ from Amazon.com Inc.’s Echo and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Home speakers by offering virtual surround sound technology and deep integration with Apple’s product lineup, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss products that aren’t yet public.
I’m ecstatic at the idea of Apple announcing a new hardware product— it always makes for a great keynote. But unfortunately, their sources tell them that this smart speaker will not include a screen. Looks like my theory was wrong.
But the folks at Apple seem dismissive of voice-only devices. I expect this Siri-powered speaker to have tight integration with your iPhone and iPad — possibly displaying results on your lock screen when necessary.