“Taiwan-based OEM Inventec reportedly has landed orders from Apple to produce a connected speaker device, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News report,” Steve Shen reports for DigiTimes.

“The connected speaker will be Apple’s first AI-based smart home device powered by Siri and is expected to take on Amazon’s smart home assistant Echo, said the report, citing Kuo Ming-chi, an analyst at Taiwan-based KGI Securities,” Shen reports. “Apple is expected to unveil the smart speaker during its annual WWDC 2017 conference to be held in June, Kuo said, adding that the connected speaker will be priced higher than the US$179 for Echo.”

Shen reports, “Inventec is the sole assembler of Apple’s wireless AirPod products…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Inventec is the sole assembler of Apple’s wireless AirPod products…” Meaning there likely won’t be any of Apple’s Amazon Echo echo units available to buy 6 months after launch either.

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Operations Genius

 
Something along the lines of Amazon Echo is what Apple should have done if run by competent, forward-thinking management. When Apple finally does do their version of Amazon Echo (and they will get around to doing such a product eventually) they will rightly be called a follower. The company had all of the ingredients to make their own Echo, before Amazon, except for the vision, it seems. — MacDailyNews, March 29, 2016

There could be a psychological component to this that leads people use Alexa over Siri precisely because they know the Echo is there (it’s a physical object), but forget about Siri being everywhere, even on their wrists (because Siri is embedded inside devices that are “for other things” in the user’s mind (telling time, watching TV, computing, phone calls, etc.) and therefore “hidden” to the user. Hence, Siri gets forgotten and goes unused while people use Alexa…

Again: We believe people use Alexa because Amazon Echo is a physical manifestation of “her,” while forgetting about Siri even though she’s on their wrists at all times and/or in their iPhones and iPads because Siri is hidden inside objects whose primary function is something other than “personal assistant” in people’s minds (watch, TV, phone or tablet, as opposed to “Siri.”) Alexa is present thanks to the Amazon Echo. Siri is absent because she has no such counterpart; no physical manifestation.

Siri is a ghost. Alexa is that cool, fun, glowing tube right there on the counter.

Apple would do well to not discount the psychology behind why people use certain features, even though cold, hard logic tells them it’s a redundant and unnecessary product.

An “Apple Echo” device would sell in the millions of units per quarter and boost Siri usage immensely. — MacDailyNews, June 15, 2016

Wi-Fi router capabilities to be built into Apple’s Echo echo? — MacDailyNews, November 21, 2016

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s Amazon Echo echo rumored to borrow trashcan Mac Pro design cues, could arrive at WWDC – April 28, 2017
Apple said to be working on a Siri-based Amazon Echo rival – April 27, 2017
Apple’s Amazon Echo echo: What if AirPort Extreme becomes the Siri speaker? – December 1, 2016
Apple abandons development of wireless routers – November 21, 2016
Apple’s Amazon Echo echo – September 26, 2016
Apple’s Amazon Echo rival said to include includes built-in cameras to read users’ emotions, recognize faces – September 23, 2016
Apple’s Siri-powered Amazon Echo-like device reportedly now in prototype testing – September 23, 2016
Why an ‘Apple Echo’ would be a hit – June 15, 2016
New Apple TV to take on Amazon’s Echo, source says – May 26, 2016
Apple preps Amazon Echo rival, opening up Siri – May 24, 2016
Apple should make a stationary voice command device like Amazon’s Echo – May 19, 2016
Google unveils its Amazon Echo knockoff called ‘Google Home’ – May 18, 2016
Where’s Apple’s answer to Amazon Echo? – March 31, 2016
Amazon Echo leads mindshare in smart home platform war – February 29, 2016
Why did Apple buy a startup whose tech can read emotions via facial recognition?/a> – January 7, 2016
Apple buys Emotient, maker of artificial-intelligence tech that reads emotion by analyzing facial expressions – January 7, 2016