Apple’s Rumored to be Finalizing Amazon Echo-Like Smart Device [Updated: May be Unveiled at WWDC 2017]

Amazon Echo

In May of last year, just before the start of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, a report cropped up that Apple was putting together an Amazon Echo-like smart speaker.

At the same time, the report suggested that Apple was also building a Siri SDK, which would open the doors to a smart speaker. However, soon after that, Apple executives made it relatively clear, at least at the time, that building something like the Amazon Echo just to put Siri on it wasn’t on their things to-do list. Still, in September of last year it was reported that a smart speaker device with Apple’s logo had entered the “prototype testing phase.”

Details were light, and remain so, but now Sonny Dickson posted on Twitter a few key tidbits worth noting. He says that the device is currently seeing its design finalized, and that it will be marketed as a “Siri/AirPlay device.” That would allow music, podcasts, and more to be streamed over WiFi, like the major competitors.

Dickson also said that the device will be running a variant of iOS, and that it will have “some form of Beats technology” built into it. Key details beyond that remain unknown. Of course, the device would feature Siri, too.

Apple’s digital personal assistant has broadened its reach from just the iPhone, now available on the Apple Watch, Apple TV, and even in macOS. A smart speaker that also features Siri would certainly be another way to get Siri out in the world.

Update: According to additional information gathered by MacRumors, the upcoming Siri-based smart speaker will take design cues from the Mac Pro. Specifically, the device is said to feature a concave top with built-in controls. The publication says the speaker could be unveiled as early as this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which is set to take place in early June, but, of course, nothing is official or set in stone.

“Dickson later told MacRumors that the device, allegedly codenamed B238 internally, will feature a Mac Pro-like concave top with built-in controls. His source, which he told us is “someone inside Apple,” described the device as “fat” like the Google Home with speaker mesh covering the majority of the device.”

Are you hoping this device exists?

[via AppleInsider; @SonnyDickson]