Apple continues plugging away at HomePod with large display


HomePod with a larger Display concept
A HomePod with a larger touchscreen -- perhaps something like this concept -- is supposedly on the drawing board at Apple.
Concept: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly hasn’t given up on the idea of a HomePod smart speaker with a built-in display. It’s supposedly still in development in Cupertino.

There have been leaks and rumors of such a smart home device since at least 2021.

Large display would make HomePod more useful for HomeKit

Apple’s HomeKit is a home-automation system that lets users control smart switches, smart bulbs, etc., from iPhone, iPad, Mac and Siri. In some ways, HomePods are the best option to act as hubs for a smart home, but they aren’t ideal for the job because they can only be controlled via voice commands.

Rival companies offer home hubs with relatively large touchscreens — like the Amazon Echo Show — providing additional control options. Apple is supposedly working on its own version: a HomePod with large display.

“I am told Apple that continues to pursue this idea and has begun early work on it with overseas suppliers,” says Mark Gurman in his latest Bloomberg PowerOn newsletter.

But don’t hold your breath. “If Apple finally moves forward with the product, a launch wouldn’t come until 2025 at the earliest,” said Gurman.

He’s not the only tipster talking about such a device. Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with TF International Securities, predicted a HomePod with 7-inch display might be out in 2024. But that supposed leak was almost a year ago, and it’s quite possible Apple’s plans have changed since then.

Apple’s new home hub?

The current HomePod 2 and the mini version already have touchscreens, but these are small and therefore of limited functionality. As noted with the Kuo report, leaks of the possible future Apple smart speaker generally compare the device to a HomePod with an iPad permanently attached. That opens a world of potential uses.

Leaks about Apple’s plans for a touchscreen-enabled HomePod have been light on details about what the computer might do beyond playing music. Simply adding a touchscreen to make setting up and using HomeKit devices easier is, obviously, overkill. And that’s probably also true even if the computer can display weather forecasts and upcoming appointments.

A HomePod with large display could be a kitchen computer, always ready to play video or show recipes. A front-facing camera would enable FaceTime calls. The device could even be used for accessing social media, email, etc.


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