Apple's Siri-powered home speaker to arrive next month?

Apple will announce its wireless smart speaker for the home next month, according to analysts.

The speaker - a rival to Amazon Echo and Google Home - is said to have "an over 50 per cent chance" of being announced at WWDC, Apple's annual developers' conference next month. That's according to Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst from KGI Securities who has a very good track record of predicting Apple announcements.

He added the speaker will support the AirPlay wireless technology, have "excellent acoustic performance" from one woofer and seven tweeters, and will be more expensive than the Amazon Echo (which costs £150). He also said it would go on sale in the second half of the year.

Kuo's predictions were first reported by MacRumors.

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Last week, another Apple watcher also said the speaker would likely debut at WWDC. Sonny Dickson said the top of the device will have a concave design, similar to the Mac Pro desktop computer, with a speaker mesh similar to that found on the UE Boom covering the majority of its surface. He added it will "carry some form of Beats technology" and run a variant of iOS.

According to CNET, the device will have a built-in camera to enable facial recognition. This could help it better integrate into the smart home, meaning it could wirelessly control smart locks, lights and appliances.

However, Amazon isn't taking this lying down. It's reportedly working on a second-generation Echo speaker, which could have a built-in screen. The source claimed Echo 2 will launch this month.

Looks like it'll be a busy summer for home smart speakers.

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Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.