HomePod with big touchscreen likely isn't coming in 2024

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited February 27

There have been rumors since 2020 about a HomePod with an integral screen, but a new report claims that it's not coming soon.

An artist's rendition of a HomePod with a display
An artist's rendition of a HomePod with a display



Apple is rumored to have some kind of release in March, likely with new iPads. However, Apple faithful expecting to see a HomePod with a large scree are likely to be disappointed.

In a newsletter for Bloomberg's on Sunday morning, Mark Gurman's latest supply chain checks suggest that while the product is in the investigative and engineering phases, a 2024 release is unlikely.

The report goes on to suggest that an iPad supplier in China -- BYD -- is helping Apple with the concept and design.

HomePod with screen rumors have been going on for some time



The rumors of a HomePod with a touchscreen like an iPad attached have been circulating since almost as long as the HomePod has been available. They've fired up again more recently, with suggestions in code that the product was advancing.

In code references spotted in mid-February, the tvOS 17.4 developer beta 3 issued by Apple on Tuesday refers to a new device by the name "Z314."

The unreleased item is capable of running tvOS, which both Apple TV hardware and HomePods effectively use. However, the HomePod version is designed to not include a user interface, due to a lack of screen.

As part of the beta, the HomePod firmware gains SwiftUI frameworks, as well as the hangtracerd tool for UI debugging in iOS apps. It seems unusual for Apple to include that functionality unless it was preparing a HomePod that could use it.

The Z314 shown in code is said to be running an A15 Bionic chip, and with internal and production versions apparently being tested. It is thought that this is an indicator the speaker could be in a late stage of development.

The screen-enabled HomePod is thought to be similar in concept to others produced by rival smart speaker producers, and could offer consumers similar functionality. As well as giving visual control over functions, the display could potentially play media back to users, access to smart home functions via the Home app, or even handle FaceTime calls if it includes a camera.

Apple has also considered a HomePod with a small touchscreen, with a prototype from late 2023 claimed to be an actively-worked-on inbound product rather than a cast-off prototype.

Rumor Score: Likely

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,808member
    Perhaps it's not even coming at all? 
    pulseimages
  • Reply 2 of 13
    Looks like the old iMac G4 from 20 years ago. The whole point of smart speakers is that they're just minimalist audio appliances controlled via devices and voice.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    This is dumb. 
  • Reply 4 of 13
    Unless it includes a new airport?
  • Reply 5 of 13
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,423member
    Tim Cook 

    It's time to retire.   Go out on top Make the Vision Pro your swan song. 
    williamlondonJaphey
  • Reply 6 of 13
    Tim Cook 

    It's time to retire.   Go out on top Make the Vision Pro your swan song. 
    Why on earth? One of the most successful and effective CEOs of the century. (Please don’t confuse the role of a CEO and a product manager, despite Jobs being a product manager. It is not common nor expected.) 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 13
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,423member
    Tim Cook 

    It's time to retire.   Go out on top Make the Vision Pro your swan song. 
    Why on earth? One of the most successful and effective CEOs of the century. (Please don’t confuse the role of a CEO and a product manager, despite Jobs being a product manager. It is not common nor expected.) 
    Largely because he's done what he needed to do.   Bridge that transition from Jobs's passing ...made Apple's supply chain efficiency the model.  Mac OS and iOS are strong ...iPad/iPad OS less so. 

    We've seen Apple stagnate before and they have stagnated.    When I talk to my sons their excitement is about wanting to Podcast,  Livestream and game capture.  They mirror other kids are talking about.   None of this specifically ties them to Apple products. 

    I'm happy with my iPhone 14 and may early upgrade to the 16.   Gonna get a M3 this year but that's Apple platform table stakes.   Taking 5 years to deliver a basic Echo Show/Google Hub product?????    We're not looking for transformative devices here just something that functions well in the ecosystem. 

    When Johnny Ive left I was unbothered because I found his designs were becoming a bit too esoteric.   Apple's done just fine in the design department.    On the flip side though without Jobs's innate vision for design and product UI/UX ..Apple has struggled to move even a little bit from their sandbox. 
    williamlondonJaphey
  • Reply 8 of 13
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,362member
    I'm pretty sure that a HomePod Video built to that form factor (slab-on-a-stump) would raise concerns for a lot of fans of the current HomePod's audio performance. I think Apple would be better to spend their money putting Apple TV functionality into the iPad Pro and allow it to be wirelessly paired with HomePods, Macs, and smart TVs, perhaps through the TV+ app.

    In the meantime, I rather see Apple enrich the HomePod lineup with a wireless subwoofer (HP minis are begging for this) and a hardware remote control so users don't have to rely on Siri (sorry girl) or an Apple device to control playback, pause, skip track, repeat, shuffle, etc. 

    Not to repeat the obvious, but a hybrid HomePod + Apple TV in a soundbar form factor (with eARC, optical support, AirPlay2, and Bluetooth) with optional wireless subwoofer (same one sorely needed by the mini) and wireless satellite rear speakers, for 5.1 or 5.2 sound, has always seemed like an attractive option for the HomePod product line, while keeping the full-size and mini around. Maybe this is too "me too" for Apple's proclivities, but it would be the perfect fit for a lot of folks. If we wanted to go crazy, why not throw in a far field optimized Facetime camera and maybe even a TB4/5 port to plug in a Mac mini or MacBook Pro. 
  • Reply 9 of 13
    nubusnubus Posts: 380member
    Tim Cook 

    It's time to retire.   Go out on top Make the Vision Pro your swan song. 
    Why on earth? One of the most successful and effective CEOs of the century. (Please don’t confuse the role of a CEO and a product manager, despite Jobs being a product manager. It is not common nor expected.) 
    Tim Cook was a fantastic COO. What has he added as CEO? He gave us 6 years of butterfly keyboards. He killed the Mac Pro, made it Trash, forgot about it, "offered" wheels for it, and then made sure it couldn't be expanded. He launched iPhone 12 and then nothing happened for generations. This is not innovation. Is he a good CEO? His track record as on global politics is terrible. He has lost in every possible way to the EU-lady (Vestager) while investing everything in communist China and he is now forced to invest again to get away from them. He bet everything on TSMC and when they didn't deliver, we got no upgrades for 2 years. Both the stock and Cook have stalled. Jobs made Apple the globally most valuable company. Cook lost it and gave the crown back to Microsoft (!!).

    AVP feels a lot like when Sculley invented the future with Newton and General Magic. It can't continue like this.
    hmurchison
  • Reply 10 of 13
    thedbathedba Posts: 763member
    nubus said:
    Tim Cook 

    It's time to retire.   Go out on top Make the Vision Pro your swan song. 
    Why on earth? One of the most successful and effective CEOs of the century. (Please don’t confuse the role of a CEO and a product manager, despite Jobs being a product manager. It is not common nor expected.) 
    Tim Cook was a fantastic COO. What has he added as CEO? He gave us 6 years of butterfly keyboards. He killed the Mac Pro, made it Trash, forgot about it, "offered" wheels for it, and then made sure it couldn't be expanded. He launched iPhone 12 and then nothing happened for generations. This is not innovation. Is he a good CEO? His track record as on global politics is terrible. He has lost in every possible way to the EU-lady (Vestager) while investing everything in communist China and he is now forced to invest again to get away from them. He bet everything on TSMC and when they didn't deliver, we got no upgrades for 2 years. Both the stock and Cook have stalled. Jobs made Apple the globally most valuable company. Cook lost it and gave the crown back to Microsoft (!!).

    AVP feels a lot like when Sculley invented the future with Newton and General Magic. It can't continue like this.

    I wouldn't say that.
    - Apple Watch - 2015;
    - Apple Music - 2015;
    - AirPods - 2016;
    - Apple Silicon Macs and transition to - 2020;
    - Vision Pro - 2024;
    Have all been minor achievements

    Add to that the entirety of Apple services (Music, TV, News, iCloud etc.)  which are still growing.

    The rest of your rant seems very personal: Politics ???, EU???, China???, TSMC not delivering???
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 13
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,423member
    Look ...no CEO is going to bat a 1000.    But there are issues with the current Apple. 

    Apple News - life support or should be. 

    Apple Fitness - No traction 

    Apple Music -   It's decent but if it disappeared today my Tidal account would suffice.  There's no stickiness to Apple Music beyond being part of the One Sub 

    Ads in the App Store - Seriously?  A premium product with an unbearable app store.  Thanks. 

    CSAM - Did Cook not listen to his handlers?  You can't preach privacy while simultaneously rifling through people's digital data. 

    Personally I'm "not" going to stop buying iPhones and Mac for the foreseeable future.   I may even buy a Vision Pro when they are sub $2k in cost.   My hope is now that Apple Vision Pro is a shipping product Apple can continue to evolve the product and assign more engineering effort to smaller product lines.   

    I think people are ready for a Homepod for the TV with Facetime.   I've said for three years now I think Shareplay may be Apple's most underrated technology.   Generative AI is buzzword compliant filler. Yes it's fantastic for creatives but most consumers aren't creative. What most consumers crave, even if they don't realize it, is connection and community.   I'm reminded of this when I  travel to a theater to watch a movie just hit the cinemas.  That packed Theater creates a small micro-community and we all feed off of non-verbal connections. 

    Bullish on Apple being able to do this but they gotta ship product.  As the saying goes "if you shipped your first product without bugs you waited too long" 


    dewmemuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 13
    omasouomasou Posts: 572member
    I never understood why anyone would put a screen on an AI speaker? If I need a screen then the AI failed and is unable to execute via voice.

    Then consider how lazy we are as a society. Why would I get up and walk over to it? I already have a phone in my pocket or tablet in my hand. I'll use that and the speaker can confirm.

    The only reason, I can see that Google attempted a device like this is b/c they had a ton of tablets that no one wanted and used them to create yet another failed product. /s
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 13
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,423member
    omasou said:
    I never understood why anyone would put a screen on an AI speaker? If I need a screen then the AI failed and is unable to execute via voice.

    Then consider how lazy we are as a society. Why would I get up and walk over to it? I already have a phone in my pocket or tablet in my hand. I'll use that and the speaker can confirm.

    The only reason, I can see that Google attempted a device like this is b/c they had a ton of tablets that no one wanted and used them to create yet another failed product. /s

    williamlondon
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