Apple is set to host its WWDC conference in California from June 5, and it is expected to highlight all the big features arriving with iOS 11. Apart from software announcements, noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now seems to suggest that Apple will make two hardware announcements as well. One is said to be the much rumoured Siri Speaker, something Kuo had tipped earlier, and the other is expected to be a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, something that has been rumoured since February this year.
The research note from Kuo, obtained by 9to5Mac, claims that the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro will sport slimmer bezels than the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Other than that, there'll be very little design changes. It is expected to go in mass production in late Q2, and KGI predicts Apple to ship about 6 million units this year.
Talking about the Siri Speaker, Kuo says Apple will launch it at WWDC as well, to take on Amazon Echo and Google Home. The device will come with premium audio quality, and a much higher price tag than its competition. The KGI analyst also notes that the Siri Speaker will have a touch panel, however goes no further to detail that bit. It could very well be just navigation keys, or a proper display screen, just like the one on Amazon Echo Show, but it's all just presumptions at this point.
Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller did stress on his preference of a display screen on smart speakers in one of his interviews with Gadgets 360. Previous leaks also attest to the Siri Speaker unveil, as one report stated that Apple employees were already testing the Siri speaker in their homes.
While WWDC in recent years has been a software only event, it's not uncommon for Apple to release hardware alongside. In 2012, Apple unveiled the Retina MacBook Pro, and the next year saw a sneak peek of the Mac Pro as well.