Apple analyst Gene Munster has shared predictions that a new Beats speaker might be revealed at WWDC. He also expects that Apple will be focusing on Siri in this year’s conference. Siri could integrate Spotlight search, as well as add new capabilities to the HomePod to keep up with competitors.
“Siri on HomePod is more limited in the number of domains, so adding support for things like navigation and email would quickly improve the experience. Siri can also improve the information utility by simply integrating Spotlight Search”, he said.
The conference will also focus on the augmented reality and artificial intelligence. Munster suggests Apple will introduce new domains for its Core ML machine learning framework, as well as new developer tools for implementing ARKit.
Munster noted that Apple is also going to introduce a more affordable smart speaker with Siri integration. This smart speaker will carry a Beats branding and will cost $250.
He says, “The knock on HomePod is its $349 price is about 2-3x the price of a typical smart speaker. We believe Apple can advance its digital assistant ambitions with a $250 Beats-branded option that does not compromise HomePod’s $349 price point.
We are currently modelling for HomePod to have a low-to-mid teen’s digital assistant market share, and this Beats integration does not change our market share outlook.”
The news about Apple going to introduce more affordable smart speakers isn’t new. It was suggested that Apple might introduce a $199 speaker, earlier this month. The question is whether these speakers will have integrated Siri or rely on an iPhone or iPad in order to use the Apple Digital Assistant.
Apple itself has said an upcoming Beats speaker will support AirPlay 2, but whether or not Siri would be directly integrated into a Beats product is unclear.
With the WWDC being conducted in less than a week it the rumours concerning what we might see will either be confirmed or denied.