Apple discontinued the original HomePod in March 2021 in favour of the smaller and cheaper HomePod mini.
With Apple’s spatial audio-enhanced music being a year old and Apple Music Sessions recently released in Spatial Audio, it seems reasonable that a future HomePod will support Spatial Audio… and it’s been found in the public.
The full-sized HomePod seemed to be dead — until now. While the Apple HomePod mini is a great speaker, its compact size and low price made us suspect that Apple would create a follow-up to its original flagship smart speaker to compete with the Amazon Echo Studio and Sonos One.
Since Apple stopped the HomePod, a series of patents imply the company is working to produce a new model, the so-called Apple HomePod 2, which may come with a display. When it appeared in iOS 16, everyone took note, and some team members were thrilled.
Apple hasn’t announced the HomePod 2, but that’s nothing new. Respected tipsters and iOS 16 beta users have highlighted it, so we’re convinced.
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.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) May 20, 2022
- HomePod (1st gen) — February 2018
- HomePod Mini — November 2020
Currently, there are two windows. Gurman says we’ll have to wait until “about 2023” One, both, or neither of them could be right about the HomePod 2 (more on that later). Hopefully, two new devices are in the works.
HomePod’s debut record isn’t helpful. Apple announces and ships most consumer gear in March and September each year. Both HomePod launches were anomalies.
Kuo said there “may not be much innovation in hardware design,” implying a Mini or original HomePod with updated specs. Expect a speedier processor, Spatial Audio, and Thread wireless capability. Since Apple backs Matter, we’ll likely get Matter over Thread for wider platform compatibility.
Gurman envisions unique hardware. His reports include a TV-connected device that combines HomePod, Apple TV, and FaceTime, converting your TV into a smart display. That would be like Meta’s Portal TV, but with a speaker.
There’s no “well-established” HomePod design, unlike the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The first HomePod was huge and cylindrical, whereas the HomePod Mini is spherical and flat with coloured lights.
Apple HomePod 2 maintains a primarily networked exterior but can explore various form factors. Ming-Chi Kuo says there may not be much hardware innovation in Apple’s HomePod with a screen.
If the first HomePod’s price was one of the reasons it didn’t sell well – Apple cut it from $350 to $300 – a new one may cost between $100 and $300.
Depends on Apple’s features and hardware. A new product combining the smart speaker and Apple TV might price close to $300, while simply the smart speaker could be about $200 given Apple still sells the HomePod mini for $99.