Facebook May Unveil A Smart Speaker Soon
Facebook is also rumored to be planning to release a smart speaker product, but instead of voice recognition functionality, the company will focus more on image display and will adopt a 15-inch touch panel for the device, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
The Speaker will be manufactured by Pegatron Technology for release in the first quarter of 2018. Pegatron however declined to comment on its orders or clients.
Smart speakers have grown to become an emerging application for IT players. Amazon released its Echo smart speaker, Google launched Google Home, and Apple will start selling its HomePod at the end of 2017. Other players including Alibaba, Samsung Electronics and Microsoft also reportedly will join the market.
The 15-inch touch panel that Facebook’s smart speaker will use is supplied by LG Display, using in-cell technology. The speaker will also be equipped with a magnesium-aluminum-alloy chassis. The device has already begun small volume of pilot production at Pegatron’s plants in China.
The speaker is reportedly designed by Facebook’s Building 8 department.
Research firm Strategy Analytics has reported that worldwide smart speaker shipments reached 5.9 million units in 2016, 4.2 million of which were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2016. By 2022, the smart speaker market is expected to reach US$5.5 billion.
Since Pegatron already has iPhone orders from Apple as well as Surface and Xbox One orders from Microsoft, if the company’s orders from Facebook are true, Pegatron’s performance in the second half is expected to grow higher, the market watchers noted.