What can we expect from the new HomePod?

HomePod Concept

It’s been more than a year since Apple discontinued its HomePod speaker, and though its mini successor has helped the Cupertino company increase its smart home market share, there’s still a long way to go. Apple is now planning to reinvigorate the space by launching an all-new HomePod with advanced capabilities – and rumors suggest could arrive this year.  

New pricing and form factor

According to Kuo, there “may not be much innovation in hardware design” for the new ‌HomePod‌, buy pricing will reportedly play a big role. A separate report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who also has a favorable track record when it comes to insider information at Apple, previously suggested that Apple was considering a new version of the HomePod that would be sized between the original ‌HomePod‌ and the ‌HomePod mini‌.

HomePod concept mockup

It could have a screen

What’s perhaps most interesting about the recent HomePod rumors is that some expect Apple to launch a new hybrid smart speaker with speakers, screens, and cameras. Google has its Nest Hub, Amazon its Echo Show, and Facebook its video calling Portal product. If Apple did enter into this space, it could offer FaceTime and other services like SharePlay on a smart speaker – ideal for living rooms and kitchens where families get together and chat. A separate report has found that Apple is working on a HomePod with a robotic arm that can serve as an iPad stand, allowing the HomePod and iPad to follow a user around the room for video calls and to share instructions like recipes; yet another report suggests Apple has been testing an Apple TV with a HomePod combined for living rooms and home cinemas. 

A new AirPort could come, too

As well as smart speakers, Apple is also reportedly planning to offer more smart home technology to empower everyday users and professionals to get more out of their devices. One of those is a WiFi router – in the past, Apple offered AirPort routers, which were very popular amongst power users. The company discontinued the AirPort range back in 2018, and though there were some alternatives on the market, it was necessary to make tweaks and adjustments for the connection to work as planned.

Since Apple discontinued the range, several new players have entered the market, like Eero, owned by Amazon, but for those wanting a seamless experience that “just works” in the way iPhones and iPads do, you could be in luck. One report has found that Apple has registered a new Network Adapter, powered by iOS, in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filings. The device has been codenamed A2657 and features two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a USB-C port, and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC antennas.

The device also comes with 1.5GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, whilst a second variant of the device is equipped with a Lightning port instead of USB-C and only 1GB of RAM. The filings suggest that the adapter runs an early version of iOS 15.5 and has an A-series processor. A sample unit was sent to FCC for certification back in January, and the product was connected to a MacBook Pro and an iMac during testing, but that’s the only information we have to date. 

 

Are you looking forward to the new HomePod? Let us know and check back soon for more.

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