Facebook working on HomePod rival with 15″ screen for early 2018 launch

Facebook is apparently jumping on the smart speaker bandwagon, with a new report Tuesday out of Taiwan claiming that the social networking giant is looking to take on Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home and Apple’s HomePod smart speakers.

Sources in the supply chain told trade publication DigiTimes that the Facebook speaker will be outfitted with a fifteen-inch screen built by LG Display and using in-cell technology.

The housing should be made from magnesium-aluminum alloy. The report added that Facebook will focus more on image display than voice recognition functionality.

Designed by Facebook’s Building 8 department, the rumored device is understood to have been scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2018.

Contract manufacturer Pegatron has reportedly kicked off pilot production of the Facebook smart speaker at its production plants in China, added the sources.

Apple will start selling its HomePod at the end of 2017.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that Samsung is building a Bixby-powered HomePod rival of its own that could launch later this month. However, a follow-up report from The Korea Herald said that it’ll be some time before Samsung jumps on smart speakers.

“Samsung currently does not view AI speakers as marketable, as the global market is already dominated by unbeatable Amazon and the Korean market is too small to make profits,” a source told the publication.

According to Engadget, Amazon, the leader in this space, is working on a next-generation Echo that will offer better sound quality and refreshed design, possibly releasing this fall.

Image: Apple HomePod