Rumor: Apple’s Amazon Echo competitor will be a next gen Apple TV

Yesterday it was reported that Apple is working on "an Amazon Echo-like device with a speaker and microphone that people can use to turn on music, get news headlines or set a timer” that will be powered by Siri. Now VentureBeat says that such a gadget may come in the form of a refreshed Apple TV, rather than a new hardware product.

The article says that Apple has considered several options — turning the existing Apple TV into a more comprehensive assistant, making the Apple TV’s Siri Remote the key device, or even building a standalone speaker just like Echo. Ultimately, the third option was dropped, given how much money Apple has spent on the development of Apple TV, according to VentureBeat, which doesn’t list a timetable for such an upgrade.

Chances the rumor is true (IMHO): 50%. I’m almost certain Apple will offer a Siri SDK. I’m less certain about a voice-activated speaker, much less that the Apple TV will add such features.