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The Latest: New speaker? Apple hopped on bandwagon before

FILE – In this Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 file photo, a person stands near the Apple logo at the company’s store in Grand Central Terminal, in New York. Apple appears poised to unveil a voice-activated, internet-connected speaker that would create a new digital pipeline into people’s homes. Tapping Apple’s Siri digital assistant, such a speaker is expected to serve as a butler as well as an outlet for listening to music. If the speculation pans out, the speaker would be Apple’s first new product since its smartwatch in 2015, Sunday, June 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on Apple’s annual conference in California (all times local):

9:05 a.m.

If Apple unveils a rival to internet-connected speakers from Amazon and Google, it wouldn’t be the first time that Apple hops on the bandwagon of a technology product popularized by a competitor.

For instance, Apple’s large-size iPhones are now popular, after Apple initially resisted them despite strong sales for larger-display phones made by Samsung and other rivals.

Apple is expected to announce plans for a speaker on Monday. It would be Apple’s first new product since its smartwatch in 2015.

The lack of a breakthrough device has periodically raised concerns that Apple has become too dependent on the iPhone. Although Apple Watch has emerged as the leader among smartwatches, it hasn’t become a smash hit like the iPhone.

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8:45 a.m.

Apple Watch has emerged as the market leader for smartwatches — but it has competition after including basic fitness trackers in the count.

There, Apple shares the lead with Chinese company Xiaomi, whose fitness tracking wristbands are mostly sold in China.

The research firm IDC says Apple and Xiaomi each has a worldwide market share of nearly 15 percent in the first quarter. Fitbit, once the leader of wearable devices, is third at about 12 percent.

Samsung doubled the number of wearable devices shipped compared with the previous year, but it’s still at fourth overall, at less than 5 percent, just ahead of Garmin.

Apple is expected to unveil new features for its Apple Watch as its Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off on Monday.

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8:20 a.m.

Apple’s annual developers conference is the company’s chance to preview upcoming features for iPhones, iPads, watches and Mac computers.

The conference starts Monday in San Jose, California. The idea is to get outside software programmers geared up to write apps for Apple products.

Leading up to it, Apple says those outside app developers have earned more than $70 billion since Apple’s app store launched in 2008.

Some of the most popular apps, such as Facebook, Instagram and Sanpchat, don’t cost anything. The most popular paid apps are usually games. This week, this included “Minecraft: Pocket” and a new version of “Goat Simulator,” an oddball game that’s exactly what its name sounds like.

Apple’s also expected to unveil a voice-activated, internet-connected speaker to rival Amazon’s Echo and Google Home.

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Midnight

Apple appears poised to unveil a voice-activated, internet-connected speaker that would create a new digital pipeline into people’s homes.

Tapping Apple’s Siri digital assistant, such a speaker is expected to serve as a butler as well as an outlet for listening to music. If the speculation pans out, the speaker would be Apple’s first new product since its smartwatch in 2015. It would mark an effort by Apple to catch up with Amazon and Google.

Apple’s annual conference for app developers begins Monday in San Jose, California.

Although it was first smartphone maker to come out with a digital assistant when Siri debuted in 2011, it hasn’t had a stand-alone assistant. For Apple, having one would further broaden the role that its software, services and gadgets play in people’s lives.

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