Apple has started to manufacture a smart, internet-connected speaker with the aim to take on Amazon's Echo and Google Home, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. The Verge will be there to cover all the news that Apple has to share - be it new software (iOS 11, macOS), MacBook Pro updates, this long-rumored speaker, or something else entirely. Your patience may pay off, though, as there are reportedly a few features that will help it stand out next to the Amazon Echo and Google Home, Engadget said.
While the speakers wouldn't go on sale until later this year, they could be announced in June at Apple's developers' conference.
Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller said earlier in May that voice-control devices often need a screen. The speaker would likely be tucked into Apple's "Other Products" category, which now includes devices like the Apple Watch, Apple TV and AirPods. It will of course be able to control devices via Apple HomeKit and allow users to access Apple services such as Apple Music.
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Apple hopes that more advanced acoustics technology will give the speaker an edge over competitors, according to people with knowledge of the product's development.
Last week, we also reported that the iPhone maker is preparing to unveil its voice-activated speaker at its Worldwide Developers Conference. CEO Tim Cook has recently touted Apple's online services business, which also includes iCloud and its App Store, as a growth engine for the company.
The speaker would not only be louder and crisper-sounding than its rivals, according to the rumor, but would produce virtual surround sound. Unfortunately for those that want to get their hands on such a speaker, it won't ship until later on this year.