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IKEA and Sonos tease new smart speakers, but it may mean nothing for Apple users

Flat-pack furniture giant Ikea has prototypes of its upcoming, low-cost Symfonisk line, the first products to come from IKEA's partnership with Sonos.

IKEA's Tradfri

Non-functional prototypes of an Ikea and Sonos collaboration were demonstrated at Ikea's Democratic Design Days event Thursday in Sweden. The speakers, all of which are rectangular in shape, have various designs, while one of them has a wooden finish. One is possible, it appears, to use as a shelf.

Sonos, according to the site, said that the final products whenever they're released will "integrate fully" with both Sonos' Wi-Fi speakers and IKEA's "Home Smart" range of Tradfri smart devices.

Pricing and release dates were not announced.

Apple and IKEA

The latest in the IKEA/Sonos partnership comes after IKEA's botched rollout last year of HomeKit lighting support. First in August, and again in October, IKEA attempted to roll out support of the Apple functionality through its Tradfri platform, but identified "technical difficulties."

Support was later rolled out again, but the functionality requires a bridge. AppleInsider can confirm that it slower to respond than native HomeKit gear, and a bit slower than other HomeKit-compatible products that require a bridge.

IKEA offers a "Gateway" kit, with a hub, two bulbs, and a remote for $79.99, with add-on bulbs that range in cost from $7.99 and $19.99. In IKEA fashion, the kit is one of the cheaper ways to connect HomeKit lighting.

Bjorn Block, IKEA Home Smart's business leader, said that the partnership will bring Sonos functionality at a lower price point than usual.

"Many people dream of built-in sound systems, but few can afford it," Block said to The Verge. "Our goal is for our collective work to save space, get rid of cords, make clutter invisible, and bring sound and music into the home in a more beautiful way."

There is a chance Apple users will get less expensive access to Sonos speakers, but they may need to jump through hoops to get there.