The Amazon Echo family has expanded significantly since its original debut a couple of years ago. Most recently, we've been introduced to the Echo Show with a touchscreen and the Echo Look with a camera, but the core Echo itself has remained unchanged. It's probably due for an update and it looks like the next Amazon Echo will borrow some significant inspiration from its Cupertino-designed counterpart.

Many people, myself included, scoffed at the $349 price for the Apple Homepod, but that's almost to be expected when you pay the so-called "Apple tax" on the company's products. It's no surprise that many companies derive some design inspiration from Apple, and Amazon is certainly no exception. So, what can we expect from the next Echo?

First, it sounds like the next Amazon Echo will be smaller. Engadget says that it'll be about the size of "three or four Echo Dots stacked on top of each other." That's not very Homepod-like, but it also sounds like the hard plastic shell of the existing model will be replaced with a softer, cloth-like covering. That's much more like the Homepod.

And you know how Apple was really playing up the audio quality that you can expect from its smart speaker? Amazon is reportedly upping the ante in that department too by improving its sound quality as well. Instead of just one large tweeter and woofer, the rumor goes that the next Echo will have several tweeters. The Homepod has seven.

Other upgrades include better microphone technology, better software, and better acoustic modeling. No word on price, of course, but it'll probably be comparable to the $180 range for the current Echo.

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