Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple will release a updated version of the HomePod later this year or in early 2023. But what exactly will it offer?
Kuo tweets: Apple would release a new version of HomePod in 4Q22-1Q23, and there may not be much innovation in hardware design. Smart speakers are undoubtedly one of the essential elements of the home ecosystem, but I think Apple is still figuring out how to succeed in this market.
The tweet is vague. He’s likely referring to an updated HomePod mini, though I’m not sure what changes Apple would make besides introducing new colors.
Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman has previously said that Apple is working on a HomePod that, size-wise, falls between the original HomePod (now discontinued) and the HomePod mini. That could be what Kuo is referring to, but the Sellers Research Group (that’s me) doesn’t think such a product makes much sense.
Last month in a Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is working on a new HomePod product that combines a speaker, Apple TV functions, and a FaceTime camera.
“I absolutely do think a new HomePod is coming — specifically, a device that combines a HomePod, Apple TV and FaceTime camera,” he wrote. “I don’t think a big stand-alone HomePod is still in development, but perhaps a new HomePod mini is coming. In any case, the combination product will probably be at the center of Apple’s approach, with HomePod minis surrounding that throughout the home.”
And 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.
Of course, as I’ve said before, I want a device that combines a HomePod with video with an Apple TV AND a router. I want such a combo that brings back the features of the late, lamented AirPort line-up that Apple abandoned in 2016.