Apple are moving ahead with development of their Siri speaker as Amazon launch a brand new Echo with a touchscreen.

Amazon revealed their fifth home speaker yesterday, the Echo Show with an in-built touchscreen changing the game of personal home speakers. As Apple continue development of their Siri speaker to rival Amazon Echo, Google Home and others more has been revealed, including suggestions that their debut speaker may come with a screen too.

The project has been in the works for a couple of years now but Apple haven’t really spoken publicly on it and, being Apple, have managed to avoid any leaks. In September Bloomberg reported that engineers had begun testing the speaker in their home, suggesting a decent level of progress has been made.

Senior vice president of marketing at Apple, Phil Schiller made some suggestions that could mean Echo Home won’t be the only speaker with a screen on it soon. Schiller said: “The idea of not having a screen, I don’t think suits many situations. I think voice assistants are incredibly powerful. Their intelligence is going to grow. They’re gonna do more for us, but the role of the screen is gonna remain very important to all of this.”

Whilst it may seem like just another screen to have in your home, on top of your phone, tablets, tv, computers etc., the home speaker market is mainly aimed for simple interactions like checking the weather and controlling gadgets with the AI. Schiller added: “I think that’s an interesting discussion about when is each appropriate, and what can they do in our lives.”

When Apple does eventually launch their new home speaker they will be facing up against a lot of competition, since the success of the Amazon Echo has spawned numerous variants. Despite the number of competitors in the market Apple don’t seem that impressed by their rivals, suggesting they’ve done something unique with their own model. Schiller said on the range of home speakers: “My mother used to have a saying that if you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing at all.”