Apple is readying a new higher-end HomePod and a slew of new smart home devices it hopes to bring to market in the next two years, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman in his Power On newsletter.
Since the discontinuation of the original HomePod in 2021, it has been rumored Apple would follow up with a new device, possibly with a built-in display, to rival Amazon and other competitors.
Gurman reports in his Power On newsletter that Apple is currently testing a new higher-end HomePod and “at least four new smart home devices.” Gurman adds, “not all will see the light of day.”
The HomePod, internally known as B620, is running an Apple S8 chip from the rumored upcoming Apple Watch Series 8. Gurman also mentions that the new HomePod will be similar in size and audio performance to the original HomePod rather than the mini.
Gurman also reports that Apple is working on an updated HomePod mini, though exact details are unclear. The most likely explanation for an updated model is the recent release of the Bluetooth 5.2 codec. As reported by The Verge, Bluetooth LE introduces the LC3 codec – which is more efficient and transmits higher-quality audio over the same bitrate. It is expected Apple will introduce the new codec in its upcoming AirPods Pro 2 refresh.
The newsletter also mentions two very different devices Apple is testing: A kitchen device that combines an iPad-style device and a HomePod speaker and a living room device that combines an Apple TV, camera, and HomePod. It is worth noting not all devices Apple tests will see the light of day but may influence future hardware and software updates and first-party accessories.
Gurman expects Apple to launch these new devices sometime in 2023 or early 2024. Would you buy an Apple TV and HomePod hybrid? Are you excited about an updated HomePod? Sound off in the comments below.