With Apple discontinuing the original HomePod last year, users were eager for a new iteration of the company’s bigger smart speaker. Although its mini version is slowly expanding globally, it feels that Apple’s audio ecosystem is lacking a more powerful speaker.
With new rumors around, it’s possible that the company will soon unveil a new HomePod. Here’s what we know so far.
Design of the new HomePod
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in May 2022 that the possible new HomePod will likely remain the design people already know. Kuo described the new smart speaker by saying “there may not be much innovation in hardware design.”
While the original model had a nice look with amazing sound capabilities, it wouldn’t be a big deal whether a new model would feature the same design.
Another possibility for a new version has been rumored by Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman for a while. The journalist says a new HomePod would be a combo between Apple TV, the smart speaker, and a FaceTime device.
Apple does appear to recognize this, and it’s developing a combined Apple TV, HomePod and FaceTime camera home hub device for release around 2023. Will that version finally improve Apple’s offering in the living room? Only time will tell. But if the next big revamp doesn’t go well, it might be time for Apple to consider putting the Apple TV on the same shelf as other living room products like the iPod HiFi and high-end HomePod.
Features: U1 chip, Dolby Atmos, Lossless support, more
So far, it’s unknown what features a new HomePod could feature, although one can guarantee it will have AirPlay 2 compatibility, Lossless and Dolby Atmos support, and deeper integration with all Apple devices.
It would also be nice if this product features the U1 chip to quickly transfer songs between an iPhone and the smart speaker and eARC compatibility so it can be used as the main TV speaker connected with an Apple TV 4K.
9to5Mac‘s Filipe Espósito believes a feature this product should have is a true surround mode. He explains:
Since the HomePod supports Dolby Atmos, which is a technology that enables three-dimensional sound, a true surround mode would take the experience of using the product as TV speakers to the next level.
Imagine if you could place four HomePods in your living room, each serving as an independent audio channel. Or even if there was an option to set up a 5.1 surround system using a larger HomePod as a subwoofer that would be killer.
How much the new HomePod will cost?
If one of the reasons the original HomePod didn’t sell well was its price tag – Apple even reduced it from $350 to $300 at some point – it’s likely that a new HomePod could cost between $100 and $300.
It all depends on the features and hardware Apple will offer. While a new product combining the smart speaker with an Apple TV could surely be close to $300, maybe just the smart speaker could cost around $200 since Apple still sells the HomePod mini for $99.
When Apple will release a new HomePod
Last year, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said this Apple TV + HomePod new product would launch as soon as 2023.
Although these could be different products, analyst Ming Chi-Kuo believes a new HomePod will launch in late 2022 or early 2023.
“Apple would release a new version of HomePod in 4Q22-1Q23, and there may not be much innovation in hardware design.”
So far, these are the rumors regarding a new iteration of Apple’s take on a smart speaker device. 9to5Mac‘s Zac Hall wrote why we are eager to see a new HomePod unveiled soon:
Larger HomePods are great for the living room, whereas smaller versions are more appropriate throughout the house. Hopefully, Apple has found a way to get closer to the original HomePod in terms of quality, but without the hefty price tag that limited its appeal to the masses.
Are you excited about a new generation of this product? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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