Amazon Echo could meet its match as Apple may soon release a cheaper smart speaker

Amazon Echo spearheaded the connected home revolution back in 2014 – at the time the device arrived in a single model but has since been made available in various forms that vary in price and function.

While different models of the Echo vary in sound quality, each has Amazon’s signature assistant, Alexa, built-in.

This allows the device to answer a stream of questions and perform a manner of commands.

Apple launched the HomePod last year and was the firm’s first smart speaker – the device was designed to deliver premium sound first and foremost.

However, the device also had Siri built-in, allowing it to perform expected connected home tasks.

Apple made no secret of positioning the HomePod as a premium smart speaker – this, combined with its price, meant the hardware was unable to compete with models of the Amazon Echo that are much more affordable.

However, it seems the Cupertino-based tech firm is readying a cheaper version of the HomePod that could launch before 2019 is over, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

The outlet, citing sources familiar with the matter, claimed Apple is working on a “cheaper” HomePod that could release as “early as next year”.

It was declared the new device will tote “two tweeters” – suggesting it could be much smaller than the current HomePod.

For reference, Apple’s current HomePod comes with seven tweeters and a high-excursion woofer.

Unfortunately, Bloomberg did not discuss the design of the claimed product or its price.

Amazon’s cheapest smart speaker is the Echo Dot – the hardware costs £49.99.

The tiny product comes with a single 1.6-inch speaker and boasts a premium design made of plastic and fabric.

Echo Dot is positioned by the firm as a great entry-level device.

It is currently unclear if Apple’s rumoured cheaper HomePod would be designed to compete with this particular Amazon offering.

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