Apple may reveal smart home speaker at WWDC

Mac Pro

Apple is poised to launch its own Siri-based personal assistant accessory, which would compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home. In fact, according to Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities the chances of Apple revealing the new device at WWDC are over 50 percent. This year's developer conference is scheduled for June 5-9 in San Jose.

Should Apple kick off the new product at WWDC, the device would start shipping sometime during the second half of the year. Kuo predicts the company could sell 12 million smart home speakers during the first year of release. Apple is said to be finalizing the design of its Siri speaker, which could take cues from the Mac Pro pictured above.

Apple is expected to include AirPlay along with Beats audio components in the speaker. Pricing is likely to come in higher than the Amazon Echo, with Apple's Siri speaker running a version of iOS and packing one subwoofer and seven tweeters for high-quality sound. In addition, the device will probably include Apple's W1 chip for simple pairing, as well as Apple HomeKit compatibility.

While leaks have been sparse, Apple's so-called "B238" device has been in prototype testing since September.