It is believed to carry some form of Beats technology, and is expected to run an variant iOS — Sonny Dickson (@SonnyDickson) April 27, 2017
Dickson says the device will “carry some form of Beats technology” and that “someone inside Apple” described the shape as “fat” like the Google Home, with a concave top for the controls and speaker mesh coving most of the device’s surface.
A report from last September claimed the device will go beyond simply providing a basic “Hey Siri” interface for home and device control, possibly also adding a camera with facial recognition technology to detect who is in the room to allow it to more proactively apply HomeKit rules and other actions. Dickson said the device is expected to run some variant of iOS and could be revealed as early as the WWDC in June.
Update: KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is also backing Dickson’s claim that the device could be launched at WWDC, giving the prospect a “more than 50 percent chance” according to 9to5Mac.
Kuo also added more detail in his prediction, claiming the device will cost more than Amazon’s Echo and will have far superior acoustics with seven tweeters and a subwoofer. The home hub is also expected to feature an integrated system-on-a-chip like the iPhone 6 and 6s, and Kuo sees Apple also eventually producing a line of scaled down accessories similar to Amazon’s Echo Dot that could run on a W1 chip like the company’s AirPods.