If the speculation pans out, the speaker would be Apple's first new product since its smartwatch in 2015. Amazon sells various Fire TV products that bring internet video to TV sets just the way that Apple TV boxes do.
In addition, Cook said Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, Northern California, now has 16 million registered software developers worldwide for its consumer electronics, including smartphone known as iPhone, and 3 million of them were added past year. If you happen to be subscribed to Cupertino's music-streaming service, you'll have access to its entire library and your own playlists and preferences.
Following in Google's footsteps, Siri will also be able to translate and speak phrases from six languages, with more coming later, Apple said. Both speakers can respond to voice requests for the news, weather and tasks such as turning on the lights. Or if someone texts you about owing money, it will ask if you want to pay using Apple Pay.
David Limp, Amazon's senior vice president of devices, on Wednesday offered one of his company's first official responses to the HomePod.
The "HomePod" speaker unveiled Monday is similar to devices from rivals, some of which have been on the market for years. Google, meanwhile, previewed new speaker features such as hands-free phone calling during its software conference last month. It's clear Apple believe the sleek design it's become synonymous with and better audio performance (and well, a product being "Apple") means people will be willing to pay a premium.
Still, the Apple Watch hasn't been a smash hit, fueling worries that the company's ability to transfix customers had waned after the 2011 death of co-founder Steve Jobs.
Internally, the speaker will be powered by an Apple A8 chip, which was previously used in the iPhone 6 series and the current-generation Apple TV.
But this year, Apple took the opportunity to announce not just a smart speaker, but also a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, a professional-centric iMac Pro all-in-one desktop computer, as well as updated versions of the iMac and MacBook Pro computers.
It also applies machine learning to listening as well.
Apple refreshed its Mac computer lineup with the latest Kaby Lake processors from Intel (INTC), faster graphics processors, and speedier and higher-capacity solid-state drives. (Many reviewers have suggested that the current incarnation of Apple's assistant already trails competitors in key respects.) "This is the start of the AI wars", he said.