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Opinion: Does Apple need to make an Amazon Echo/Google Home speaker, or just make Siri better?
There has been speculation that Apple may be planning to build its own home speaker device to compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home, with some expressing the view that Apple is already late to the party.But does Apple need to compete in this space, when it arguably already has its own version of Echo or Home? The one that's either on your wrist or in your pocket …Each approach has pros and cons, of course. A speaker provides more convenient access. If you want to switch on your lights or ask a question or play some music, you have only to speak and the always-listening speaker will respond. No buttons to press, nothing to pick up, just speak. And it can be used by anyone in your home.But unless you're going to lay out the cash for one speaker per room (which isn't cheap with either Amazon Echo or Google Home), a speaker only works in limited areas of the home. If you have an Apple Watch, you have convenient access to Siri anywhere in the home.Without a Watch, things are more finely balanced. If you keep your phone in one room at home, it's not really any different to a speaker. If you carry it in your pocket, you can pull it out to use it in other rooms, but it's less convenient in the living room.I suspect much of it may come down to the type of household makeup. For couples who both own a Watch, that's going to win out almost every time; if you have a larger family, especially one where not everyone owns an Apple device, a speaker or two makes far more sense.