iOS faithful may not be waiting much longer for their own Google Home-style device—at least, to see it, anyway.
According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is prepared to introduce its first Siri-powered connected device at WWDC in June; though, the same report states the Siri speaker may not be available until the “second half of the year”. Whether that means July 1st or December 25th is anyone’s guess at this point.
Engadget claims that the Siri speaker will be promoted as a “premium” upgrade to the market-leading Amazon Echo: a more powerful processor, a subwoofer and potentially seven tweeters. And, for loyal Apple customers, finally a smart home-enabled device fully integrated with iOS.
The delay between a likely introduction at WWDC and the Siri speaker hitting the market is likely an attempt to give devs the opportunity to develop for the product ahead of it getting into the hands of consumers. Like Alexa’s skills (which Amazon opened up to devs via browser for testing last year), third-party applications would need some lead-time before Apple’s connected device goes on sale to create extensions—lest the product only be utilized for endemic iOS apps upon release. (This assumes, however, that certain valued partners don’t already have a heads-up on the Siri speaker for the demo at WWDC.)
Apple is, of course, years behind Amazon in the smart-speaker category; and though Google Home trails Echo, it has been gaining ground as of late. The company does have a few advantages, however—including it’s own in-house audio company and 20 million-plus Apple Music subscribers. That is on top of the aforementioned loyal userbase, which up until now has gone without a fully-integrated speaker slash connected-home device to use with iOS.