Thursday, June 1, 2017

APPLE Inc. to Launch “Siri Speaker”

The iPhone-maker’s answer to the lineup of Amazon Echo and Google Home has reportedly initiated manufacturing a long-in-the-works Siri, a virtual-assistant smart speaker, according to media report. The new device could be divulged as soon as the Apple’s annual conference next week, but it is not expected to be out of the market later this year.

The Siri-powered speaker will serve two main purposes: offering a hub to automate appliances and lights via Apple’s Home Kit system, and establishing a protection inside the home to lock customers more tightly into Apple’s network of services. That would be helpful to battle against the competitive threat from Google’s Home and Amazon’s Echo connected speaker. Without compatible hardware, people might opt to use for the Echo or Home, and therefore use streaming music offerings such as Spotify, Amazon Prime Music and Google Play rather than Apple music.

The Apple device will be far different from its rivals in terms of giving emphasis to the sound quality. The Siri will come without touchscreen, but offers a surround sound technology and deep integration alongside the other products of Apple, such as iPhone and Homekit, the Apple’s smart-home software platform. According to the report, Apple has considered adding sensors that measure a room’s acoustics and automatically adjust audio levels during the use. That sounds somewhat alike to the TruePlay feature available from Sonos speakers, which uses a microphone on a mobile device to maximize sound quality result for that specific environment. Employees have reportedly been using and testing the device at their own homes for months. In addition, Apple said that it will allow third parties to build services for it.

Invectec Corp., the Taipei manufacturer that already makes the AirPod wireless headphones, will add the device to its Apple collection. The Siri speaker reached an advanced prototype period last year, according to media report on Wednesday.

This year’s conference will be the first to introduce new hardware since 2013. Apple might announce an updated iPad tablets at the conference. Recently, apple updated the 9.7-inch iPad Pro in March 2016 and has not refreshed the larger 12.9-inch model since November 2015.

Apple hopes that more advanced acoustics technology will give the speaker an advantage over competitors. Along with producing virtual surround sound, the speakers being tested are louder and reproduce sound crisply than other rival companies’ offerings.

Apple stock slightly decreased before the report was released on Wednesday, with shares down about 0.5%. However, by 4:37 AM GMT,  the Apple opened at $153.97, with a session high of $154.17 and a session low of $152.38. Its market capitalization was 796.78B, P/E ratio was 17.87 and its dividend yield was 1.65%.


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