In Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter, Gurman believes that Apple is working on a total of at least four new devices for the home. However, one shouldn’t expect all of these to actually come to fruition, and even if they do, all of the products won’t launch at the same time.
The HomePod is multiplying and evolving
The first of these four new home products, as Gurman believes, is a new high-end HomePod to replace the previous generation that has been discontinued. While nothing has been set in stone yet, from rumored reports, it is highly likely that the new HomePod will retain the same design as the first generation model, and also be a similar size. Gurman stated in previous Power On newsletters that the next HomePod may feature the new S8 processor, which may also show up in the next best Apple Watch, Apple Watch Series 8. With that in mind, one shouldn’t expect Bluetooth connectivity in the HomePod, though it would be a welcome feature. Instead, the HomePod could be getting Matter support, which is going to be the upcoming smart home interoperability standard with a launch date of around fall 2022. Ultra-wideband may also be coming, as it is already in the HomePod mini, allowing for features like Handoff.
Speaking of HomePod mini, Gurman believes an update for the mini smart speaker is in the works as well, counting it as one of the four home devices Apple is working on. This may not come as a surprise for some, as Apple usually gives products minor refreshes from time to time, and we don’t imagine a HomePod mini update to be very groundbreaking.
Apple expanding its home device lineup
Aside from new HomePods, Apple is said to be working on two brand new devices. The first would be a kitchen-use device that would combine an iPad with a speaker, and then we could see a device for the living room that combines an Apple TV, camera, and a HomePod in one. While there isn’t much information about the former, the latter would allow users to make FaceTime calls to friends and family from a connected TV. It would also function like an Apple TV in terms of content streaming and games, but have a powerful speaker built-in, like HomePod.
According to Gurman, he believes at least one of these products is possible and may launch at the end of 2023 or early 2024.