Apple’s Siri/AirPlay Device Expected to Boast Premium Specs and Price

Apple's Siri/AirPlay Device Expected to Boast Premium Specs and Price

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Just days ago, word first began circulating the web about Apple’s intent to release a Siri-based competitor to Amazon’s Echo, the Alexa-powered voice assistant. Courtesy of famed, though historically inconsistent serial leaker, Sonny Dickson, Apple was actually said to be in the finishing stages of “finalizing designs” for a Siri/AirPlay device that would likely run a reconfigured variant of iOS, while affording users a premium audio experience.

Although that rumor was scant on details, KGI Securities heavyweight, Ming-Chi Kuo, officially weighed in on the future of Apple’s debut home-based artificial intelligence product. According to his most recent research note, a copy of which was obtained on Monday morning by AppleInsider, there is a “greater than 50% chance” that Cupertino will debut its powerful and premium device at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next month — potentially ahead of an early August or September launch.

Kuo went on to detail some of the device’s most noteworthy specifications, which he claims will include the presence of at least one dedicated subwoofer and up to seven tweeters, promoting “excellent” acoustics and all-around stellar audio quality. Interestingly, he also suggested that the device will likely run a custom ARM-based processor — at least as powerful as the company’s A8 SoC — meaning the Siri/AirPlay device would be as powerful as an iPhone 6.

If true, it would certainly appear as if Apple is positioning its Siri-based gadget for the higher-end of the market — with pricing likely to far exceed that of Amazon’s $179 Alexa-only Echo speaker. Still, Kuo justifies that while Apple’s device may be higher-priced than its competitors, he believes that Apple’s product will offer users a better entertainment experience and superb sound quality to warrant the price.

Kuo further suggested that Apple could sell as many as 12 million of the devices by the end of this year, and that the company may be positioning itself to expand the product into a broader category of products — similar to how Amazon did with the Echo.

Though these estimates may seem high at this point, Kuo points out a number of advantages that Apple’s Siri platform has over Amazon’s Alexa, right out of the gate, including the former’s ability to communicate in 18 different languages, as opposed to the latter’s English-only operability. He also referenced Apple’s hardware advantage, namely by invoking the company’s custom W1 chip, which allows Apple devices to connect to compatible accessories instantly so long as they’re affiliated with the same iCloud account. Kuo also believes that Apple’s potential to integrate the product with iOS or macOS devices will only bolster the product’s position as a must-have for Apple lovers.

Fortunately, with WWDC 2017 set to kick off on June 5th, it won’t be too long until we find out what products Apple has in store for us this year, alongside the all new iOS 11, macOS 10.13, watchOS 4, and tvOS 11 unveilings that are already expected.

[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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