Smart speakers are getting increasingly popular and tech giants Google and Apple could not have been left behind in the race. While Amazon was the first to operate in the segment, Google jumped onto the bandwagon last year and now Apple is ready to give it competition. According to Apple tipster Sonny Dickson, Apple is all set to release its smart speakers soon. Dickson tweeted Thursday saying: "Apple is currently finalizing designs for their Alexa competitor, expected to be marketed as a Siri/AirPlay device."

He further added that the device would be using Beats technology, which the company uses for some iPhone accessories and will run on iOS.  So basically, Siri will function on the device as Alexa does on Amazon Echo. Since Dickson mentions iOS, it could mean that the device might have a touch screen, which lets users access compatible iOS apps.

The device might possibly be unveiled at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, which takes place from June 5-9 in San Francisco.

Apple’s biggest rival would be Amazon, which actually was the first player in the segment in 2014 with its Echo speaker powered by the company‘s Alexa, the artificial intelligence-based voice assistant.

While Apple seems to be in the process of making its first smart speaker, Amazon seems to be in the process of revamping its existing range of smart device. The company is working on an Echo successor, with the code name Knight, CNET reported Thursday. While Amazon’s existing speakers respond to the sound of your voice and do internal processing using Wi-Fi, fitting them with a screen would make them useful for video chats, online shopping and other such functions which cannot be done using voice input alone.

Read: Apple Working On An Amazon Echo-Like Speaker

An interesting feature that voice-based speakers are incapable of is identifying multiple users. The upcoming speaker, which will build on the functionality of the recently launched Amazon Echo variant — the Amazon Echo Look — will have a built-in camera and a touch screen to easily identify and respond to multiple users.

The smart speaker category has been rapidly expanding with Google coming out with its Home smart speaker powered by the Google Assistant and even Microsoft is expected to come out with a Harman Kardon smart speaker by the end of the year.

With the competition increasing, all the companies are diversifying their offerings and the introduction of touch screen is one way of doing so.

According to a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), Amazon sold 8.2 million Amazon Echo speakers from 2014-2017.

“Amazon efforts to promote the expanded Echo product line appears to have paid off. With traditional media advertising and prominent placement at the Amazon.com website, Echo product awareness among Amazon customers continued its rapid ascent in the fourth quarter of 2016,” Josh Lowitz, partner and co-Founder, CIRP said in the report issued Jan. 23.

Read: Amazon Echo Look Launched

But, it is his explanation of what Amazon wants from the smart speaker that signifies the change in the company’s strategy with smart speakers.

“More Echo owners use it as an information source than as a voice-controlled music device. Amazon positioned Echo and the Alexa software as much more than a smart audio player. Amazon clearly wants it to become an Internet browser and even a home controller. Hundreds of third-party electronics, appliance, and even auto manufacturers now offer products that work with Alexa. Amazon wants Alexa to be the starting point for the move to connected-automated homes,” he added.

Rather than let smart speakers become Wi-Fi enabled speakers, companies like Apple and Amazon want them to have diverse usage and be more integrated into the Internet of Things ecosystem and into everyday usage of smart devices.