Apple’s Echo rival could be revealed in the coming weeks

2 May 2017

Apple. Image: Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock

Smart devices are everywhere, but they’re not quite synced up. That’s why Amazon Echo and Google Home exist, and also why Apple is bringing out its own variant.

We can all guess at a potential name by simply putting ‘i’ in front of household objects. We can all guess the look: sleek and more attractive than most.

That’s Apple’s rival to the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart-home devices, slowly building up an industry of connected kitchens and living rooms.

We can picture it, but it doesn’t yet exist. However, we’ll probably see it at some stage this year.

Last week, the rumour mill started churning out predictions.

This week is no different.

All eyes on Apple

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo published an industry report yesterday (1 May), claiming that Apple will likely announce a Siri Speaker product at WWDC in June.

The prediction is that Apple’s as yet unnamed device will be more powerful than its noted rivals, have better sound quality and, in general, be an improvement.

This makes sense, given that it will be newer and no doubt supported by enthusiastic Apple fans.

In his predictions, Kuo noted that the growth in the home AI market was growing to such a degree that Amazon’s Echo range could outsell the iPad next year. It’s economics such as this, it seems, that appeals to Apple.

According to 9to5Mac, Kuo expects Apple to ship around 10m devices in its first year, “with the product manufactured by Inventec, the same company that Apple tasked with producing Apple’s truly wireless AirPods”.

Apple has been prominent in the world of rumours and whispers. Last month’s stories revolved around a potential 20pc stake in Toshiba’s semiconductor business.

Toshiba is the world’s second-biggest flash memory chipmaker, but has put its chips business up for sale to make up for a write-down of $6.5bn in its US nuclear equipment operations.

Apple. Image: Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic