The rumor mill says that Apple is working on a Siri-based competitor to the Amazon Echo “smart speaker,” which could debut at next month’s Worldwide Developer Conference. If so, the company could have perfect timing.
According to Parks Associates, the market for smart speakers with voice assistants will grow 60% from 2016 to 2017. The research firm also estimates that in 2020, annual sales in this product category will exceed 50 million units.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks an Apple device will sport one woofer and seven tweeters for rich sound and will be powered by a custom ARM processor equal in power to at least the A8 CPU on the iPhone 6 or newer. With these features, Kuo anticipates that Apple will sell the Siri speaker system at a higher price than Amazon Echo prices and will position the produce for the high-end market with a better entertainment experience and superior sound quality.