With the World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) set to begin from June 5, it is expected that Apple may come with its first-ever “home AI” product. The product is expected to be a #Smart Speaker, which can connect to the internet. According to a note to investors from KGI Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the probability of Apple announcing an Amazon Echo-like smart speaker at the WWDC were high.

Features of the expected speaker

The #Apple Speaker is expected to feature a woofer and seven tweeters to offer users better sound quality. Rumors suggest that the speaker will also be powered by a custom ARM processor, which is equivalent to the A8 processor found on iPhone 6 or the newer handsets.

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Users of the Apple smart home speakers would also be able to deploy Siri to belt out instructions. This functionality is reminiscent of Google Home or Amazon Echo where a user can peruse Assistant or Alexa, respectively, to do various tasks.

According to Kuo, chances of Apple’s custom W1 Bluetooth chip becoming a part of the speakers are high, since new hardware has been introduced in the alleged smart speaker. The W1 Bluetooth chip is able to connect wireless accessories automatically as long as the device is connected to the same iCloud account.

Will the Apple speaker be an Echo killer?

According to the analyst, Apple’s speakers may outpace the Echo with ease in terms of performance. Compared to Amazon’s Alexa, which is known to support only one English, Siri will reportedly support 18 languages.

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Kuo also remarked that the integration of both iOS and MacOS with large available install options will prove to be advantageous for Apple. Support for AirPlay music being streamed over Wi-Fi will also be a plus for the company and help it gain more ground.

Expected price

According to Kuo, the smart speakers from the Cupertino-based company will be quite premium and it will likely command a higher price than the Echo (or Google Home). The pricing may become a possible deterrent for many consumers, but the brand value and top-notch quality associated with the company could tilt scales in its favor.

The analyst also let on that Inventec, which assembles Apple’s AirPods, may manufacture the upcoming product. With all these premium features, it is expected that the speakers will be priced at $179. It is expected that Apple will ship roughly 12 million units of the smart home speaker in the first year itself. Kuo anticipates that Apple may expand the smart speaker product lineup, #Apple Smart Speaker