The next HomePod could integrate a seven-inch display panel that would boost interactivity and, possibly, turn the Siri speaker into an intelligent home controller.
- What’s happening? Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks Apple will release a revamped HomePod with a seven-inch display panel early next year.
- Why care? A built-in screen would enhance the HomePod’s utility by enabling it to double as an interactive controller for your smart home.
- What to do? Go read Kuo’s full report on Medium.
Kuo: A new HomePod with a screen launching in 2024
The revered analyst thinks the iPhone maker will launch a screen-equipped HomePod in the first half of 2024 (Kuo’s timeframes aren’t as accurate as his predictions of unreleased Apple features). Tianma, which currently makes Android displays, will be the exclusive panel supplier for the next HomePod, says Kuo.
Based on this line, Kuo might have made an informed guess rather than evidence-based prediction: “Tianma is set to debut in Apple’s supply chain, becoming a new beneficiary of Apple’s revamped smart home strategy.” The analyst predicts that Tianma’s next orders from Apple could be “iPad panels if the shipment goes well.”
Rumored Apple smart home products in the works
If true, Apple will be playing catch up to rivals Amazon and Google, which have offered intelligent speakers with integrated displays for years. Kuo’s prediction plays into earlier reports from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman regarding Apple’s future smart home plans. Gurman called for some eyebrow-rising developments, including:
- April 2021: Gurman reported that Apple was considering building a “high-end speaker with a touch screen,” claiming such an accessory would “combine an iPad with a HomePod speaker and also include a camera for video chat.”
- April 2022: Gurman reported that Apple was working on a gadget combining Apple TV and HomePod functionality with a built-in camera for video calls.
- October 2022: Gurman claimed Apple would release an iPad docking accessory in 2023 that you’d place on a kitchen counter, on your nightstand, etc.
In Kuo’s mind, a screen-equipped HomePod would play into “Apple’s revamped smart home strategy” that has yet to produce tangible results.
How a future HomePod might use a touchscreen
Kuo doesn’t clarify what new functionality an integrated screen might bring to the Siri-powered speaker. The current HomePod models have circular displays on the top. Still, these are not actual bitmap screens but LED lights that provide status information, like when you’re engaging with Siri or resetting the device.
It certainly sounds like the next HomePod could enable tighter integration with Apple’s other products and become a capable smart home controller. Why else add a screen to it? In our view, going to the trouble of equipping the next HomePod with a nice seven-inch screen only to render more colorful controls and complex Siri responses on it would be such a waste.
Useful HomePod tutorials
- How to fix the Home app failing to authenticate your Apple ID password
- How to fix HomePod not playing music from your iPhone, iPad or Mac
- How to use HomePod to get a room’s temperature and humidity
- How to automatically play songs on a HomePod at a set time
- How to know what song HomePod is currently playing