Apple Employees Are Testing the Mysterious ‘Siri Speaker’ at Home

Top 7 Disappointments from WWDC '17

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Apple has managed to keep a tight lid on leaks regarding its rumored “Siri speaker,” but that doesn’t mean everyone is in the dark about it. Some people — specifically, Apple employees — are reportedly testing the device in their own homes.

Apple staff members have reportedly been using the Siri speaker device at home for at least several months now, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Other than this tidbit, not much else is known about the upcoming Apple device. In late April, word began spreading across the internet that Apple was finalizing a design for a AirPlay and Siri-enabled standalone device — which was quickly taken to be a competitor to Amazon’s Echo lineup of products.

While it’s still surrounded in mystery, we’ve heard a bit more about the device in the days since that initial report. Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo chimed in on May 1 with a research note that suggested the Siri speaker would be equipped with at least one subwoofer and up to seven tweeters, and it could be just as powerful as an iPhone 6. Additionally, the Apple product would be aimed at a higher-end portion of the market than Amazon competitors. According to a report last week by the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, Apple has already placed an order for an unspecified number of said speakers.

One of the more interesting rumors surrounding this standalone Siri speaker is the possible inclusion of a touchscreen. Apple VP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller told Gadgets 360 in a recent interview “a voice assistant without a screen is limited in its utility.” He went on to say that “the idea of not having a screen, I don’t think suits many situations.” Those comments become even more relevant in light of Amazon releasing its first touchscreen Echo device today. Alexa and Siri have gone head-to-head before, and if Apple’s standalone speaker does indeed feature a display, these two tech heavyweights are bound to duke it out again.

As for when we’ll actually see an Apple competitor to the Echo lineup, the standalone Siri speaker is largely expected to be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next month. WWDC 2017 is slated to start on June 5.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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