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Report: Apple preparing Siri-powered home assistant

Apple Inc. has begun manufacturing a Siri-controlled smart speaker, Bloomberg News reported May 31, citing people with knowledge of the development.

The device, reportedly "long-in-the-works," may be unveiled at Apple's annual developer conference in June, although shipment would not be ready until later in 2017, the sources told Bloomberg News.

The iPhone maker's smart speaker will feature virtual surround sound technology and deep integration with Apple products, reportedly setting it apart from Amazon.com Inc.'s Echo and Alphabet Inc.'s Google Home speakers.

Taiwan-based Inventec Corp., the company that makes the AirPod wireless earphones, will also be manufacturing Apple's smart speaker.