Apparently, Apple was granted its patent for a Siri dock. I’ve written about this a few times. On initial review, it seems like this patent builds on one it filed back in May 2012. A dock makes sense… all the computing power is in the device and you just change the mode of interaction or add better speakers / far field capability through the dock.
Docks have a long history with Apple. The Duo Dock was a great way to get the functionality of a desktop with the portability of a laptop. The Newton MessagePad had a dock too.
The issue is that despite what I had thought earlier, people still keep their phones close by at home, or they don’t like having to tether them to a device. In the end, Apple will likely use parts of the patent for protection against competitors of the HomePod — likely third parties who want to offer for iOS devices what Apple is doing rather than Amazon or Google.