Apple discontinued its initial high-end HomePod in March after poor sales, leaving many wondering if the company was working on a replacement. Because of its lower price, the HomePod mini, which was released last year, has become much more successful.
Apple is rumored to be combining the Apple TV and the HomePod into a single device, according to the new round of HomePod rumors. They’re even looking at incorporating a FaceTime camera into the system for in-home calls.
Instead of a Frankenstein monster made up of different parts of the HomePod and Apple TV 4K, a product like this would necessitate an entirely new design from Apple.
According to reports, the device is only in its early stages, so we won’t be seeing anything like this anytime soon. This device “would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a monitor for video conferencing through a connected TV,” according to the press release, and “would include normal Apple TV box functions.”
It may be a stretched Apple TV box with the width of four Apple TV 4Ks. The mesh on the sides matches that of HomePod, and speakers are concealed behind it. A wide angle camera lens for FaceTime calls is tucked away behind the mesh in the middle of the unit to keep the front of the device clean on your shelf.
Instead of the current white light that serves as a power indicator on the far right, the Siri lights will appear behind the mesh. It could appear while you’re talking to Siri on the speaker or via a remote. It could also glow green to reflect a camera indicator when someone calls.
We also considered a concept that was more circular, with a cylindrical shape similar to the Sonos Arc. You might essentially transform the HomePod on its side and stretch it out to fit under your television. Compatibility with Dolby Atmos can be greatly improved with a more rounded style. It all depends on how Apple wants to put such a commodity, or whether they develop their own audio technology to replace it.
A prototype combining a HomePod and an iPad is also being tested internally at Apple, according to the report. Like Amazon’s new Echo Show, it might follow you around a room. Despite the lack of a special robotic arm in the new concept, it still does a decent job of visualizing what an Apple smart display would look like. You can easily picture the base resembling a HomePod speaker with an arm instead of a foot.
However, according to today’s news, the product is still in its early stages of growth, and Apple may decide not to launch it or change key features.
While it’s possible that today’s report is referring to another potential future product, the company is reported to be working on an improved version of the Apple TV with a gaming focus, a an updated remote control, a faster processor, and more storage space. Since January 2020, signs of the latest Apple TV have been appearing in iOS, so we can expect a new Apple TV to be released in 2021.