Apple has entered the competitive smart speaker market with the HomePod, a seven-speaker unit which is controlled by Siri and plays tracks on demand from Apple Music.

"We really believe it's going to take your home music experience to the next level", chief executive officer Tim Cook told attendees.

While Apple played up the music aspects of the HomePod in its presentation, the device will be capable of performing the everyday tasks that competing smart speaker devices perform such as retrieving the weather or reading news headlines.

The market for internet-connected speakers and other smart home technology may be big enough to help Apple diversify. Dubbed HomePod, the new speaker features voice control and spatial awareness to adapt the sound to different rooms.

New features coming to iPhones and iPads include messages that sync to Apple servers in the cloud.

Apple has not confirmed the price of the HomePod for the UK.

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Apple touted sound quality as a major differentiator for the Homepod, which will retail at $349, a pricier alternative to the Echo or Google Home, which sell for $179 and $129, respectively.

The new smaller version of Apple TV is displayed at an Apple Special Event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts September 1, 2010 in San Francisco, California.

The "HomePod" speaker unveiled Monday is similar to devices from rivals, some of which have been on the market for years. Kuo has a good track record of accurately predicting Apple's devices and products. Siri was originally developed at SRI International as part of a DARPA-funded artificial intelligence project called CALO (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes) and spun out as a startup; Apple purchased it in 2010.

Apple is also believed to be busy making a 10.5 iPad Pro and also some software updates for the other products in the Apple hardware arena, the Apple TV and Watch.

Besides, the speaker is equipped with six microphones, through which you can trigger the Apple's own VA, calling "Hey Siri".

Apple is also updating the operating software for its Apple Watch, including new watch faces, more personalized alerts that use machine learning to tailor information to you based on your routines and tastes.