Insider Leaks Remarkable Smart Speaker Coming


This time next year, we could see the arrival of an Apple HomePod which looks very different from the current smart speaker. That’s according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TFI Securities who has written that in the first half of 2024, Apple could release its updated HomePod.

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That might seem quite early, given that the current second-generation HomePod only arrived a matter of weeks ago. Which suggests the new model will be quite different. Well, it will be.

Kuo says, “I predict that Apple will unveil a redesigned HomePod featuring a 7-inch panel in 1H24, with Tianma as the exclusive panel supplier.”

In comparison, the current HomePod has a five-inch display on its lid. While it’s not impossible that the new model will simply have a much bigger screen on top, this doesn’t seem likely to me.

After all, above everything else, the HomePod is about music, and a bigger display might physically get in the way of better audio.

Kuo says the intention for this new device will be different: “The HomePod, which equips a panel, could enable tighter integration with Apple’s other hardware products, marking a significant shift in the company’s smart home strategy.”

So, it could be a device that is designed to focus more on the smart home. Fair enough, although I’d honestly be surprised if Apple reduced the emphasis on a music device. If the seven-inch screen were on a machine more like an Amazon Echo Show, for instance, I’d still expect Apple to craft high-quality audio speakers for it. The Echo Show series have the speakers angled at the back, but the ethos of the HomePod so far has been for all-around sound.

In other words, exactly what it would look like, or indeed would do, is not clear at this point.

Some have suggested it could be more like an iPad, designed for wall-mounting and capable of FaceTime calls—though in that case a seven-inch display seems a little on the small side to me.

And let’s remember that when it comes to displays primarily designed to show data, like…

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