In a post on Medium, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple will unveil a redesigned HomePod featuring a 7-inch display in the first half of 2024.
“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,” he says.
This isn’t the first prediction of a HomePod with a display. In January, a Bloomberg report by Mark Gurman said Apple is working on a series of home smart devices, including an iPad-based home display that will be used for smart home management, well a faster Apple TV set-top box, and an Apple TV/HomePod/FaceTime camera combo.
“The push into smart displays will start with a tablet product — essentially a low-end iPad — that can control things like thermostats and lights, show video and handle FaceTime chats, people with knowledge of the plans said,” he writes. “The product could be mounted on walls or elsewhere using magnetic fasteners, positioning it as more of a home gadget than a regular iPad.”
Gurman says that Apple is also working on an update of the Apple TV set-top box that will have a faster processor and will debut in the first half of 2024.
The Apple TV/HomePod/FaceTime camera combo (seen in the above mock-up) has been rumored before. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20220042676) for an “electronic device with visual feedback” that hints at a HomePod with a built-in display.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that electronic devices such as voice-controlled assistant devices (which would include the current HomePod mini and the discontinued HomePod) could include light-emitting components. During operation, the light-emitting component.
The accompanying HomePod with display mock-up is courtesy of The Next Web.