What’s next for HomePod: bigger model with S8 chip, mater support, and more

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What's next for HomePod: bigger model with S8 chip, mater support, and more
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While the original HomePod was discontinued over a year ago, rumors suggest that Apple plans to release another larger HomePod model in the future. Meanwhile, HomePod Mini will expand its presence by launching in additional countries over time.

HomePodandMini Orange Feature
Keep reading for a recap of the latest rumors about the HomePod and HomePod Mini and the future of Apple’s smart home ambitions.

New HomePod with S8 Chip

Apple is developing a new HomePod with the same S8 chip that’s rumored for the Apple Watch Series 8 bloombergMark Gurman.

In June, Gurman said the new HomePod would be “closer to the original HomePod” than the HomePod Mini in terms of size and audio performance, and would have an “updated display on top” with potential multi-touch functionality. No other details are known about this rumored HomePod, which Gurman said is “unlikely to arrive until next year.”

HomePod Feature Purple

In May, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple would release a new HomePod in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, adding that “there may not be a lot of innovation in the hardware design.” Kuo didn’t share any further details, so it’s unclear whether he was referring to the HomePod or the new version of the HomePod Mini.

The original HomePod is just seven inches tall and comes equipped with the same A8 chip as found in the iPhone 6, seven beamforming tweeters and six microphones. When it launched in February 2018, the full-size HomePod cost $349 in the United States, but Apple reduced the price of the speaker to $299 in April 2019.

While early reviews of the HomePod praised the speaker’s audio quality, it was expensive and was held back by Siri’s shortcomings. HomePod sales were reportedly low in the years it was available, but the speaker has fetched high prices on eBay and has become a collector’s item since its closure. With the right price, size, and feature set, the new HomePod has the potential to be more successful.

HomePod combined with Apple TV

Earlier this year, Gurman said he believes Apple is also planning a new device that combines the HomePod, Apple TV, and a camera. He added that this combination device would “probably be at the heart of Apple’s approach” to the home.

AppleTV and HomePod Features

Gurman has claimed that Apple has been “developing new speakers with screens and cameras” from early 2021, which will enable the device to be used for FaceTime calls and other new functionality. Such a device can compete with Google’s Nest Hub and Amazon’s Echo Show in the smart home accessories market.

Not much is known about the combo HomePod/Apple TV device at this time.

HomePod Mini in more countries

Last month, Apple released software version 15.6 for the HomePod and HomePod Mini. In addition to performance and stability improvements, the update added support for Siri in Swedish and Norwegian on the HomePod and HomePod Mini.

HomePod Mini Thumb Feature

The addition of Swedish and Norwegian support likely means the HomePod Mini will be released in Sweden and Norway in the coming months. Apple has been testing Siri in Danish and Finnish with select HomePod Mini users in recent months, so the HomePod Mini may eventually launch in Denmark and Finland as well. However, Danish and Finnish are not yet listed as supported languages ​​in the HomePod Mini’s settings.

Apple released the HomePod Mini in Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland in late March, about a month after introducing support for Dutch on HomePods.

case support

Matter is an upcoming connectivity standard that enables compatible smart home accessories to work simultaneously across multiple platforms, including Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Home. Apple says Matter support is “coming in an update later this year” to its software platform.

Controlling Matter accessories with the Home app and Siri will require a HomePod, HomePod Mini, Apple TV 4K, or Apple TV HD running as a Home Hub.

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