TECH

HomePod with a large touchscreen likely won't arrive in 2024

Artist's rendering of HomePod with display

Rumour assessment span>   🤯 Probably

There have been rumors of a HomePod with a built-in screen since 2020, but a new report claims it won't happen anytime soon.

There are rumors that Apple will release some kind of release in March, most likely with new iPads. However, Apple fans expecting a HomePod with a larger screen will likely be disappointed.

In a Sunday morning newsletter, Bloomberg's latest supply chain review by Mark Gurman shows that while the product is in the research and development stages, a 2024 release is unlikely.

The report further suggests that the iPad supplier in China — BID — helps Apple with concept and design.

Rumors of a HomePod with a screen have been circulating for some time

Rumors of a HomePod with an iPad-like touchscreen have been circulating almost as long as HomePod has been available. More recently, they've been on fire again, suggesting in code that the product is evolving.

In code references discovered in mid-February, tvOS 17.4 Developer Beta 3, released by Apple on Tuesday, refers to a new device called the “Z314.”

The unreleased product supports tvOS, which is effectively used by both Apple TV hardware and HomePods. However, the HomePod version does not include a user interface due to the lack of a screen.

As part of beta testing, the HomePod firmware received the SwiftUI infrastructure, as well as the Hangtracerd tool for debugging the user interface in iOS applications. It seems unusual that Apple would include this feature unless it was preparing a HomePod that could use it.

The Z314 shown in the code is reported to be equipped with an A15 Bionic chip, with internal and production versions apparently being tested. This is thought to be an indicator that the speaker may be in an advanced stage of development.

The HomePod with screen is believed to be similar in concept to other devices made by rival smart speaker makers and could offer consumers similar functionality. In addition to providing visual control over functions, the display could potentially play media for users, access smart home features through the Home app, or even handle FaceTime calls if equipped with a camera.

Apple also considered a HomePod with a small touchscreen, the prototype of which, released in late 2023, was billed as a new product under active development rather than a legacy prototype.

Rumour assessment

🤯

Probably

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