The push for smart home products is becoming increasingly prominent, and Apple wants a piece of the pie. Launching their first smart home device, HomePod, back in 2017, Apple now has two models and is rumored to be further expanding their lineup. With Amazon and Google being tough competitors in this sector, Apple needs to up the ante in order to get ahead. Let’s take a look at everything we know about Apple’s plans for this sector.
The current HomePod lineup consists of two models, the HomePod and HomePod mini. Both smart home devices are based on Siri, AirPlay, and HomeKit. However, with the HomePod mini being a much smaller and more affordable version of the HomePod, Apple’s strategy seemed to work as customers have become more interested in purchasing it. Later on in 2020, Apple announced the second-generation HomePod, which is nearly identical to the original, with just some minor improvements.
Apple is planning to move beyond just speakers with their smart home setup. There are rumors of a potential iPad docking accessory that comes with a built-in speaker. With the design and function being similar to Google’s Charging Speaker Dock for the Pixel tablet, Apple may be able to make this an attractive product to customers since it would be an accessory for the iPad and price accordingly. There is no word on an official release date for this product yet.
The company is also rumored to be introducing a whole new smart home product – a HomePod with a built-in display. It would be similar to the Amazon Echo Show with quick interaction support provided through the screen. There have been multiple sources, including Ming-Chi Kuo, reporting about this device, which would have a 7-inch panel. The announcement is supposedly slated for 2024, so we will just have to wait and see how it turns out.
The rumor mill doesn’t stop here, as there has also been discussion of a product that would combine the features of Apple TV and HomePod. The set-top box with a soundbar can provide users quick interactions with the Apple TV through Siri, much like with the HomePod, and no need to pair additional speakers as the product itself serves that purpose. This device may end up being expensive when compared to the Apple TV and HomePod mini speakers purchased individually. No details on a release date for this either.
In order to compete with Amazon and Google in the smart home sector, Apple needs to keep their target customers interested and engaged. It is definitely nice to see the company making its own effort to expand its product lineup, as it might result in them gaining more market share in this space. We will just have to wait for the announcements for each of the products to get the full picture of what Apple has planned.
What do you think about the latest rumors of Apple’s smart home lineup? Are you excited for the potential of a HomePod with a built-in display or the Apple TV + HomePod combo? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!