The next HomePod reportedly won’t be a replacement for the full-size smart speaker. Apple is instead working on a combination Apple TV, HomePod and FaceTime camera.
The device supposedly will be the heart of Apple’s smart home strategy.
Apple TV, HomePod combo could run Apple’s homeOS
Reports of an Apple entertainment/communication device for the living room have been around for a while, and the project is still in active development.
“I absolutely do think a new HomePod is coming — specifically, a device that combines a HomePod, Apple TV and FaceTime camera,” wrote Mark Gurman in his Power On newsletter. “The combination product will probably be at the center of Apple’s approach.”
Rather than making FaceTime calls with an iPhone, iPad or Mac, someone could make them from this device, and see the other person on their TV. And it would be an Apple TV, so it could access films and series from a variety of streaming services. And it’ll be a smart speaker, too.
This device apparently will run homeOS, a mystery operating system that gets occasional mentions in job listings.
At this point, it is not expected to reach customers until 2023.
HomePod will stay small
The future of Apple’s smart speaker is apparently the HomePod mini. The full-size version was discontinued in 2021 and reportedly isn’t coming back. “I don’t think a big stand-alone HomePod is still in development, but perhaps a new HomePod mini is coming,” said Gurman.
The rumored communication/entertainment device supposedly will be the centerpiece of Apple’s living room strategy, with HomePod minis spread around the home.