Apple could reveal its Amazon Echo rival at its Worldwide Developers Conference next month, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In a new note to investors, Kuo says that there is a greater than 50 percent chance that the company will take the opportunity of the event to unveil its new device, which he describes as ‘Apple’s first home AI product’. It’s essentially going to be a speaker system with Siri, Apple’s virtual AI assistant, built in.
The company is clearly taking aim at the new market niche dominated by Amazon’s Alexa, another voice-controlled AI assistant. While Alexa is notable for its many integrations with other apps and devices, it isn’t yet clear how Apple’s offering will play with others, though it is certainly expected to feature the Airplay wireless functionality that is used to connect other pieces of Apple hardware.
Of course, little is known for certain about the new device in general. A circulating rumor from last autumn posited that Apple was working on an Echo-like smart home device that would feature Siri and facial recognition; it isn’t clear if this forthcoming product is the product in question, but current rumors concerning Apple’s efforts to bring facial recognition to the next iPhone suggest that its Echo rival could be more technologically powerful than anticipated.