Now that Apple has filed for another patent regarding a HomePod with a built-in display, I’ll reiterate my wish for a device that combines a HomePod with video with an Apple TV AND a router.
Writing for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman said in a May 2021 article that a HomePod/Apple TV device is in development. Sounds reasonable. But I hope Apple has even bigger goals.
“As part of its broader home, audio and accessories strategy, Apple has also begun early development of a HomePod speaker with a built-in screen as well as a device that combines the features of a HomePod, FaceTime camera and Apple TV,” Gurman wrote.
The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks that there’s an 80% chance this will happen. After all, Gurman is one of the most accurate leakers of Apple news. And Apple did merge its HomePod and Apple TV divisions in 2020.
What’s more, I’d love to see a HomePod/AppleTV combo that brings back the features of the late, lamented AirPort line-up. In 2016, Apple discontinued the AirPort Express, the AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time Capsule line of wireless router/backup hardware. I think it ranks as one of the top two dumb ideas the tech giant made in discontinuing products (the other is when it quit making semi-affordable Mac displays).
Today an increasing number of people are working from home, so there’s a need for a reliable, easy-to-implement router, as well as hardware for local back-ups of data in addition to cloud storage. I want to see an AirPort mesh networking system akin to that of the Eero and Orbi with a base station that doubles as a server hub for Apple’s HomeKit to make smart home devices easy to set up and use.
An Intego blog by Kirk McElhearn from June 15, 2020, perfectly sums up my feelings:
A mesh wi-fi system could form part of a broader Apple home network. Imagine if the HomePod, Apple TV, or future Apple in-home devices, acted as a satellite for a wi-fi access point, as well as being a HomeKit hub; this could get more people to buy these media devices, knowing that they would serve more than one purpose.
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