Apple apparently produces networked speakers

The ten best voice commands

Apple’s entry into the growing business with networked speakers is imminent, according to a media report. The iPhone company is already producing the first loudspeakers with its Siri assistance software on board, the financial service Bloomberg wrote on Wednesday. The device could be presented at the Apple developer conference WWDC next Monday, even if it should not go on sale until later in the year.

Amazon had popularized the product category through the success of its “Echo” loudspeaker with its listening and speaking assistant Alexa. There is now an “Echo” product family with a networked camera and speaker with display. Google followed with the competitor device “Home”, which offers access to the Internet company’s assistance software.

Microsoft accommodated its assistant Cortana in a loudspeaker from the hifi specialist Harman / Kardon. And just this week, the inventor of the Android mobile operating system, Andy Rubin, announced a smart home speaker from his new start-up Essential.

Language is an increasingly important way of communicating with computers. Apple pioneered the concept with its assistant Siri, who came to iPhones back in 2011. But the quality of the speech recognition and the answers often left a lot to be desired in the beginning, which is why the software was dismissed by many as a gimmick. Smartphone market leader Samsung , where the start of its assistant Bixby has been delayed for weeks , is also learning that it is a tough place .

Apple managers had indicated in the past that the group’s vision was more to let users communicate with Siri via various devices such as the iPhone or the group’s computer clock, instead of creating a fixed point of contact with a loudspeaker. Now, according to Bloomberg information, Apple wants to stand out from the competition with its smart loudspeaker, among other things with spatial sound. In-house services such as Apple Music or the Homekit smart home platform would be integrated. This is important for Apple, because the other speakers support the services of the competition and thus give them a bridgehead in the households.

Apple has the speakers manufactured by Inventec from Taipei, which also produces the wireless AirPods earphones, it said. Bloomberg had already reported on tests of the Apple speakers last year.

Apple introduced a loudspeaker back in 2006. The company’s popular music players could be plugged into the device called iPod Hifi. However, it had little success and was discontinued after a little over a year.

According to Bloomberg, new models of the iPad tablet and refreshed Macbook Pro notebooks with faster chips could also be presented at the Apple developer conference WWDC.