large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

An Apple-made Amazon Echo clone? Don’t bank on it

Apple may not be planning to build a Siri-powered rival for the Amazon Echo or Google Home speakers, despite lingering fears it may be losing ground in the smart home arena.

A column appearing on Time over the weekend cites discussions with Apple executives who apparently intimated there were no plans to enter this space.

The piece, written by industry consultant Tim Bajarin, claims Apple is more concerned with bringing Siri to more and more devices.

Related: Google Home review

He wrote: “Despite Amazon’s success, Apple has no apparent interest in copying the Echo. After talking with Apple executives, I’ve come away with the impression that they’re more interested in turning Siri into an omnipresent AI assistant across devices, rather than designing a single device specifically to serve as a Siri machine.”

Apple has already added Siri smarts to iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS devices, as well as accessories like AirPods.

Reports last year claimed Apple was working on a home speaker as part of a wider push to improve and expand Siri.

In iOS 10 the company gave Siri a big boost by opening it up to third-party apps for the first time, which could, in turn, open the door for the AI assistant to rival Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in a standalone device.

The hugely successful Amazon Echo continues to lead the way in this space, while Google Home has showed some early potential since launching last autumn.

Both also service as smart home hub for a number of the leading products. While HomeKit-enabled devices now have a dedicated hub within Apple’s operating systems, a dedicated device could broaden the possibilities.

While this report casts doubt on whether Apple will ever release an Echo clone, we certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

Given Apple now has Beats expertise in-house there’d certainly be an opportunity to better the audio quality offered by the Google Home and Amazon Echo.

The more likely scenario may be a refreshed Apple TV box with enhanced Siri capabilities that could see greater integration of the HomeKit platform.

Do you think an Apple-made smart home speaker would be a success? Share your thoughts below.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.