Apple 'finalizing' design of Amazon Echo rival based on Siri

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited April 2017
Apple is said to be "currently finalizing" designs for its long-rumored Amazon Echo competitor, featuring support for Siri and AirPlay and boasting Beats technology, a well-known leak source claimed on Thursday.




The product is "expected to be marketed as a Siri/AirPlay device," Sonny Dickson said on Twitter . He also noted that it should use some form of Beats technology, and run a variant of iOS.

Dickson didn't go into further details, but has been accurate about some predictions in the past, such as iOS 10's revamped lockscreen interface.

Amazon's main lineup of Alexa-enabled devices.
Amazon's main lineup of Alexa-enabled devices.


A February report citing talks with unnamed Apple executives claimed that Apple had "no apparent interest" in developing an Echo competitor, despite earlier rumors to the contrary.

The Echo speaker -- based on Amazon's Alexa voice assistant -- has proven a surprise hit, such that Alexa is quickly migrating to other devices like phones and set-tops. Ecobee's next HomeKit-enabled thermostat, the Ecobee4, is expected to have Alexa built in.

An Apple version of the Echo concept would ensure that Siri isn't relegated into the sidelines among voice assistants, another rival being Google Assistant, found on devices like the Google Home.

AirPlay support would presumably let people push music, radio, and podcasts to the Apple hardware over Wi-Fi, which typically offers better quality than Bluetooth.

It's not clear when the product would ship. Apple is, however, set to show off new technologies at its Worldwide Developers Conference June 5 through 9, and the company may yet have enough time to premiere a Siri speaker there with over a month to go for preparations.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 105
    Jessee MichaelJessee Michael Posts: 7unconfirmed, member
    The privacy issue with Google and Amazon concern me a bit (we have two Alexa's), but damn if they don't work way better than Siri does. Apple has totally dropped the ball on this, IMO. I only use my AppleTV for iTunes purchases and mirroring, because our 3 y/o Roku is still far easier to use and doesn't drop signals like ATV does. I'm afraid these units are still just after-thoughts, instead of products with iPhone-like attention behind them.
    williamlondonzroger73anantksundaram
  • Reply 2 of 105
    I wouldn't mind having an Apple-created AirPlay speaker, but I don't need it to do Siri by itself. I don't believe in that concept at all (standalone voice assistant products). 
    edited April 2017 StrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 105
    Maybe the reason the AirPort router hasn't been updated in a while is because of this: A combo mesh-router with Siri speaker (that supports AirPlay and serves as a homekit hub.) And then, when you add additional Siri speakers around your house, they contribute as new nodes in the mesh network. 

    I can always dream, right?

    supadav03tmaylongpathKevin KJLstompydbeatsStrangeDayslostkiwifastasleepireland
  • Reply 4 of 105
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,464member
    sog35 said:
    sounds good.

    I like the concept of Echo, but don't want to give information to Amazon and Jeff
    People squawk about privacy but their actions prove they don’t care. The populace accepts the surveillance culture that has developed with the technology. It’s fait accompli. We are being watched 24/7/365.
    gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 105
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,507member
    A shame Apple hadn't been innovating to get into this space before Amazon did it, but if Apple does it better I suppose it could work for some. 

    Personally, I've no interest in any voice-control products.
  • Reply 6 of 105
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,213member
    So an Amazon Echo clone? Or will this have something unique that makes it better?
    calibrucemc
  • Reply 7 of 105
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,719member
    I'm not buying this. How would it be different than asking your iPhone? Obviously price would be the difference but would non iPhone users but an Apple speakerbot? 

    Maybe they'll integrate it into an Apple TV?

    As for considering the Echo a hit....
    calijbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 105
    FatmanFatman Posts: 319member
    Apple absolutely needs to fix Siri before launching a product like this, every year the promise of better Siri is a fail. I have an Amazon Tap, and I must say it works well, tells me the weather, plays specific songs or genres (I have a Prime membership), how many teaspoons in a cup, jokes, traffic, general questions. There's a more natural back and forth conversation with Alexa compared to Siri's snarky attitude,  its 'let me look that up ... sorry, I couldn't find an answer' response or dud jokes. I'm absolutely shocked that Apple cannot create a comparable (preferably better) experience!
    harry wildfluffheadentropys
  • Reply 9 of 105
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,464member
    A shame Apple hadn't been innovating to get into this space before Amazon did it, but if Apple does it better I suppose it could work for some. 

    Personally, I've no interest in any voice-control products.
    When has Apple EVER been first with something? They’re M.O. has always been to sit back and watch new technology, see the problems, and innovate solutions to those problems that make that technology useable for common people. If Apple does come out with such a device it will probably be best in class. Being first usually means the consumer gets screwed. I for one benefit greatly from Apple’s approach to new technology. Things usually work when they are released.
    edited April 2017 mike1waverboyStrangeDayslostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 105
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    So an Amazon Echo clone? Or will this have something unique that makes it better?
    When was the last time Apple blatantly ripped off hardware? Of course it would be original.

    jungmark said:
    I'm not buying this. How would it be different than asking your iPhone? Obviously price would be the difference but would non iPhone users but an Apple speakerbot? 

    Maybe they'll integrate it into an Apple TV?

    As for considering the Echo a hit....

    Anything non-Apple is a hit. Apple Watch ⌚️ would have been a "hit" too if it was made by someone other than Apple.
    mike1StrangeDaystdknoxlostkiwicharlesgreswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 105
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,304member
    jungmark said:
    I'm not buying this. How would it be different than asking your iPhone? Obviously price would be the difference but would non iPhone users but an Apple speakerbot? 

    Maybe they'll integrate it into an Apple TV?

    As for considering the Echo a hit....
    It would be home based. Not everyone in a home would have an iPhone or have it available.

    This would be a good and IMO, necessary move for Apple although I myself do use any kind of assistant speaker system at this point.
  • Reply 12 of 105
    I don't buy that the echo has been a hit. It makes more sense for amazon to have this product because their phone flopped, Apple customers typically already have an iPhone with Siri which would hear you wherever you are, not just in the room where you place this product.

    A updated/replacement for Apple TV/Airport related I can envisage however, or at the very least an air-play enabled Beats speaker(s).
  • Reply 13 of 105
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,507member
    sog35 said:
    A shame Apple hadn't been innovating to get into this space before Amazon did it, but if Apple does it better I suppose it could work for some. 

    Personally, I've no interest in any voice-control products.
    innovation? Echo is basically Siri with a speaker. Not much innovation at all.

    The reason Apple didn't get into it right away is because Apple is a mobile first company. And Echo speaker is going in the opposite direction.

    but the consumer wants this product, so Apple will release it COMBINED with other features (Airplay, Wifi router)

    I don't view Echo as innovation. Just another way for Amazon to sell goods.
    Apple's implementation will allegedly support Apple services, so there's no difference in their company goals of leveraging voice control to sell something. In Apple's case they'd be selling steaming audio.
  • Reply 14 of 105
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    Apple should bring this into ATV 4: always on Siri built in and Bluetooth speakers capable! Don't do standalone speaker like Echo because it sounds like crap. Why build a new device while they can just upgrade existing one?
    edited April 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 105
    "I don't buy that the echo has been a hit."

    I don't buy that it hasn't. I love my Echo(s) and my Google Home. I use them every day and would hate to live without them at this point. The people I know who own them also love them. Apple made a real mistake taking their eye off the ball with the continued development of Siri. I think they get it now, but it may be too late.
    Soli
  • Reply 16 of 105
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,507member
    sog35 said:
    sog35 said:
    A shame Apple hadn't been innovating to get into this space before Amazon did it, but if Apple does it better I suppose it could work for some. 

    Personally, I've no interest in any voice-control products.
    innovation? Echo is basically Siri with a speaker. Not much innovation at all.

    The reason Apple didn't get into it right away is because Apple is a mobile first company. And Echo speaker is going in the opposite direction.

    but the consumer wants this product, so Apple will release it COMBINED with other features (Airplay, Wifi router)

    I don't view Echo as innovation. Just another way for Amazon to sell goods.
    Apple's implementation will allegedly support Apple services, so there's no difference in their company goals of leveraging voice control to sell something. In Apple's case they'd be selling steaming audio.
    STEAMING audio sounds amazing. sign me up
    Thanks, autocorrect. Sigh...
    edited April 2017
  • Reply 17 of 105
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    lkrupp said:
    A shame Apple hadn't been innovating to get into this space before Amazon did it, but if Apple does it better I suppose it could work for some. 

    Personally, I've no interest in any voice-control products.
    When has Apple EVER been first with something? They’re M.O. has always been to sit back and watch new technology, see the problems, and innovate solutions to those problems that make that technology useable for common people. If Apple does come out with such a device it will probably be best in class. Being first usually means the consumer gets screwed. I for one benefit greatly from Apple’s approach to new technology. Things usually work when they are released.
    Yes they were mostly the first one coming up with an idea through patents. Others just make products based on Apple rumors.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 105
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    sog35 said:
    lkrupp said:
    sog35 said:
    sounds good.

    I like the concept of Echo, but don't want to give information to Amazon and Jeff
    People squawk about privacy but their actions prove they don’t care. The populace accepts the surveillance culture that has developed with the technology. It’s fait accompli. We are being watched 24/7/365.
    I don't care how the public views privacy. I'm talking for myself only. No way am I giving Amazon/Google access to the audio in my home 24/7

    The public is dumb. I'm not.
    Lol, are you some kind of privacy freak with a lot of illegal activities to hide? Amazon Alexa would be triggered by 3 names only and not process any other things.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 19 of 105
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,189member
    Echo a hit? It's doing OK, but a hit? No! Go Google selling numbers and it's around 9 million sold to date. That's since it's been released. Apple sold over 12 million Apple Watches last year alone. My Apple Watch is a better Echo!!! It's not tied down to a single location because of a power cord so it's everywhere I am. I don't have to touch my watch, just say Hey Siri and a command. It actually works quite well other then it's a little slow. It is the Original Apple Watch.

    For example just now from seeing other comments on things like Joke with Echo, so I asked my watch, Hey Siri, Tell me a Joke. It was doing a number of different ones, I liked this Classic, "How many Apple Watches does it take to screw in a bulb? Two: one to screw it in and another to watch. Get it? Watch! Haha!"

    From setting reminders, and timers, and asking questions like When to the S.F. Giants play, and it shows me right on the screen. There's Homekit support, though I haven't tried it yet as I don't have any of them devices yet. I'm always learning how to do new things.

    I'm not sure why Apple really needs a stand alone device like a Echo and Google's Copy of the Echo. The Sales numbers doesn't really show a huge demand. How about Apple releasing a Kinect type device that plugs into a Apple TV4? They do have a USB3 port on the back that's generally never used. You could plug into that and now you can have Facetime support on your TV which would be kind of cool, and Siri support always on without having to hit a button on the remote and talk into that. Other then that, I don't really see a big need to copy the Echo.

    I wonder if I can open and close my Garage door using Siri? I can control it on my Apple Watch by starting the app and hitting the door open button, but I wonder if Siri would work also? I'm going to have to try that.
    StrangeDayslostkiwicharlesgresfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 105
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    Fatman said:
    Apple absolutely needs to fix Siri before launching a product like this, every year the promise of better Siri is a fail. I have an Amazon Tap, and I must say it works well, tells me the weather, plays specific songs or genres (I have a Prime membership), how many teaspoons in a cup, jokes, traffic, general questions. There's a more natural back and forth conversation with Alexa compared to Siri's snarky attitude,  its 'let me look that up ... sorry, I couldn't find an answer' response or dud jokes. I'm absolutely shocked that Apple cannot create a comparable (preferably better) experience!
    Siri is like an old fart who is only interested in a real conversation, no jokes or fun story to tell. Alexa, on the other hand is like a kid who would sing a happy birthday song if requested.
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