Apple is speculated to refresh its HomePod mini smart speaker and release an updated version of the full-size model it had stopped selling in 2021.
- What’s happening? Apple is rumored to be contemplating updating its $99 HomePod mini speaker and bringing back the full-size model from the dead. But don’t get your hopes high yet because the rumored accessories are not expected to launch before the end of 2023 or early in 2024.
- Why care? Apple no longer offers the original, full-size HomePod but some folks would love to see it revived in one form or another. Apple’s smart home strategy is a bit of a mess although that could change with these all-new speakers.
- What to do? Continue using your HomePods, the new ones are two years away.
Is Apple planning a new HomePod and HomePod mini?
The source of this rumor is the latest edition of Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter on Bloomberg, in which the author states that a refresh to the HomePod mini is in the works. On top of that, the company could be considering bringing back the HomePod mini from the dead. Read: How to set up a primary HomePod user
Unfortunately, that’s where the news stops because Gurman doesn’t describe the new features that could be coming to both these devices other than saying that the changes won’t be “super-impressive.” Gurman thinks the speakers might drop at the end of 2023 or sometime in early 2024 as part of the company’s renewed push into the connected home. Read: How to get started with the Home app on macOS
The strategy apparently includes other home devices aside from smart speakers and set-top boxes. Gurman’s earlier rumor (not backed by other sources) calls for a new device that would combine HomePod and Apple TV functionality into a single product with a built-in FaceTime camera thrown into the mix for good measure.
Our take: Gurman is likely right
Interestingly, Gurman speculates that Apple could be considering updating both HomePod models because the company stopped selling the original model. Despite its focus on high-quality audio, the original HomePod speaker was removed from the lineup because it wasn’t selling well due to its high price.
It’s also interesting that Gurman tempers expectations, saying that the updates will be rather modest. If we were to speculate, we’d say that, yes, Apple should be interested in improving its offering of smart home products; and, yes, offering speakers in multiple sizes would appear to be a reasonable thing to do.