Smart Home

Apple's Siri speaker could debut at WWDC

The battle for living room AI assistants heats up, with Apple purportedly joining Amazon, Google and others next month.

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Apple's Echo competitor may finally be ready for our living rooms.

The latest report, from a well-connected analyst, pegs the timing for an announcement of a smart speaker that uses Siri to Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in early June.

"We believe there is an over 50 [percent] chance that Apple will announce its first home AI product at WWDC in June," Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said, according to a report from Apple rumor site MacRumors. He added that the speaker would go on sale in the second half of the year and would feature "excellent" sound. It also would be priced higher than Amazon's Echo, he said.

WWDC is the annual confab where Apple talks about its new software and, sometimes, hardware.

The home has increasingly turned into a battleground for tech giants looking to sell you new, connected gadgets. It's part of an emerging area called the internet of things, which links together just about anything that plugs into an electrical outlet so the devices can communicate with one another. Amazon has led this area with its popular Echo speakers and its Alexa voice assistant. Google Home has become a close second, while Apple has lagged behind.

Previous rumors of an Echo-like Apple speaker were first reported a year ago, and the device's possible use of a built-in camera was previously reported by CNET.

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.

Update, 11 a.m. PT: Adds background information.