Inventec Lands First Order for Apple's Echo-Like Home Device with Siri

Apple is preparing its first "home AI product" for a marketing launch as soon as this summer at its annual conference, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note sent to clients on Monday.

Bloomberg News started the whole Siri speaker ball rolling last September when it reported Apple's response to the Amazon Echo had entered the prototype phase. Additionally, it will have an integrated processor, probably the A8 or A9 from the iPhone 6 or 6s.

Kuo noted that while the Siri speaker's exact release date is unclear at the moment, there is a 50 percent chance that it will break cover at WWDC 2017 and that it would then go on sale in the second half of the year. The company is apparently building a smart speaker of its own which will be powered by Siri. The conference is scheduled for June 5-9.

That service is now found in a slew of web-connected products, from lights to kettles, meaning the Siri Speaker will be able to act as a hub for a connected home.

Today we're learning that Taiwan-based OEM Inventec has reportedly landed orders from Apple to produce a connected speaker device, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report.

But more importantly, it will offer full integration with Apple's HomeKit. Given the reaction to Amazon's Echo Look smart speaker with integrated camera, AAPL may be better off leaving that feature out anyway.

With Apple's success over a wide variety of technologies - CNET says their MacBook Pro is consistently one of the highest-rated laptops on the market, and the iPhone ranks at the top of the list for most popular mobile phone in 2016 according to Forbes - it is not unexpected that the technology superpower would move into the smart speaker market. He believes that the device will be expensive than the $179 Amazon Echo. It is likely to have one woofer and seven built-in speakers.

  • Arturo Norris