Exactly one year ago, rumors began to circulate regarding the possibility that apple could create a new smart speaker with similar functionality to the combined ones of an Apple TV and a HomePod, therefore able to provide not only information via Siri, but also equipped with a camera to make video calls via FaceTime. In short, a real home entertainment center.
Although it’s been a long time without any other rumors about it, Apple would still be working on it. This, at least, is what the authoritative reporter from BloombergMark Gurman, who was also among the first to launch the hypothesis of this new type of product.
According to Gurman, this new HomePod is coming:
I absolutely think a new HomePod is coming, specifically a device that combines a HomePod, Apple TV, and FaceTime camera. I don’t think there is a standalone HomePod in development yet, but a new HomePod mini is probably on the way. Either way, the combined product will sit at the heart of Apple’s approach to the home environment, with the HomePod mini serving as satellites throughout the home.
The first rumors were rather fragmentary and pointed a product still under evaluation. It was assumed, in fact, that Apple had not yet chosen whether to continue, modify or choose to completely abandon the project of this smart speaker.
This latest information suggests that development has progressed. There was, however, no follow-up to the rumors that came about a possible smart speaker with a touch screen, a sort of fusion between an iPad and a HomePod that could have competed with Amazon’s Echo Shows.
Apple is trying to gain share in a smart home market that sees it lagging behind Jeff Bezos’ company and Google. The change of strategy, with the abandonment of HomePod and the expansion of HomePod mini to other markets, is certainly beneficial: Apple grew by 92% last year compared to 2020, but the gap is still important.