May 02, 2017 03:19 AM EDT
Amazon and Google might get tough competition from Apple in the smart home assistant segment. Apple is reportedly preparing a smart speaker, just like Amazon Echo and Google Home.
According to MacRumors, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note that, there is an over 50 percent chance that Apple will release its first home AI product at WWDC in June.
Kuo said Apple will start selling the said device during the second half of the year. He also expects Amazon to introduce new Echo products for the competition.
Besides Amazon, Google is the only other major player in the smart home assistant segment. It sells the Google Home that offers similar functionality to the Amazon Echo in a compact speaker. It's still unclear what Apple's device will look like, but it will be powered by Siri, as reported by CNBC.
This is not the first time when the Siri-powered smart home assistant is in news. Back in May 2016, The Information has reported that Apple could launch an "Amazon Eco-like device with a speaker and microphone built-in". It was suggested, at that point of time, that the device could be launched at the company's annual WWDC.
In February 2017, Times's Tim Bajarin said that Apple was no longer interested in making an intelligent speaker. In its place, Apple is more interested in turning Siri into an omnipresent AI assistant across devices, rather than designing a single device purposely to serve as a Siri machine.
According to Analyst Kuo's report, Apple's smart speaker will focus on offering "excellent" sound through seven tweeters and a subwoofer. The upcoming speaker will be marketed as a more premium product compared to its competitors.
Rumors are rife about the Siri-powered smart speakers. However, reports say that Apple may finally kick the tires on its first smart home assistant in June.
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