Apple's Siri speaker might say hello at WWDC 2017

With both Amazon and Google tapping their smart assistants for smart speakers, it seems like only a matter of time until Apple enters the fray with Siri. Indeed, previous rumors have suggested we may see a Siri speaker launch before long, and now reports are saying that Apple might reveal it before the end of the year. Specifically, Apple could be ready to introduce this speaker by the time its Worldwide Developer's Conference rolls around in June.

That's according to Sonny Dickson, who claims that Apple is currently in the process of finalizing the speaker's design. This speaker would be matched against other smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home, putting Siri front and center. Unsurprisingly, Apple will look to Beats to supply the speaker's audio hardware, and Dickson also says it could utilize some variant of iOS.

That last claim is an interesting one, because it suggests that Apple could plan to open this speaker up to developers. Amazon does the same thing with Alexa and Alexa skills, and we're sure there'll be no shortage of developers ready to develop for a Siri speaker. Obviously Apple may have other reasons for wanting to put iOS on a smart speaker, but this seems to be a safe bet.

In a follow up with Mashable's Jen Ryall, Dickson paints a clearer picture of what the speaker will actually look like. Ryall reports that the speaker will feature a concave top, which is where the controls will be. The speaker will also be entirely covered by mesh, so Apple is going for a different style than what we see in the Echo and Google Home.

Developing a smart speaker seems like the next logical step for Apple, especially if it wants to transition Siri from a phone-based AI to the center of IoT systems. If Apple wants Siri to keep pace with Alexa and Google Assistant, we'll likely see a speaker sooner rather than later – the only things we need to know now are what, exactly, this speaker will do and when it'll be available. Obviously, take this all with a grain of salt, but stay tuned nonetheless because this probably isn't the last we've heard of a Siri speaker.

SOURCE: Sonny Dickson