Despite recent comments from Apple executives that the company has "no apparent interest in copying the Echo," Australian leak source Sonny Dickson tweeted this morning that Apple is "currently finalizing" designs for its own Amazon Echo competitor.
According to Dickson, the product will be marketed as a Siri/AirPlay device using some sort of Beats technology and powered by a variant of iOS. Amazon's Echo has become a runaway hit in the consumer electronics space, with the Alexa AI now showing up in devices made by other companies. As an example, the Ecobee4 smart thermostat -- which works with Apple's HomeKit -- will allegedly have Alexa built-in.
Apple is currently finalising designs for their Alexa competitor, expected to be marketed as a Siri/AirPlay device.— Sonny Dickson (@SonnyDickson) April 27, 2017
Should Apple release such a product, AirPlay support would provide a way to let people beam music, radio, and other audio content to the device over Wi-Fi. That in itself would resolve many of the issues that are often found with Bluetooth-based devices.
It's possible that Apple could announce a new device like this at WWDC 2017 in June, although unless the company has been working on this product for a while, it's not likely to be in production for a few more months.
Dickson has been on target in the past with leaked info, particularly last year when he tweeted out information about iOS 10's lockscreen interface.