What's next for HomePod: A larger model with an S8 chip, important support, and more

What’s next for HomePod: A larger model with an S8 chip, important support, and more

While the original HomePod was discontinued over a year ago, rumors suggest that Apple is planning to release a larger HomePod model in the future. Meanwhile, HomePod mini is likely to expand its presence by launching in additional countries over time.

Keep reading for a summary of the latest rumors about the HomePod, 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 as the Apple Watch Series 8, according to rumors BloombergMark Gorman.

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

Purple homepod feature

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

The original HomePod was less than seven inches tall and equipped with the same A8 chip found in the iPhone 6, seven high-frequency speakers, and six microphones. When it was launched in February 2018, the full-size HomePod was priced at $349 in the US, but Apple lowered the price of the speaker to $299 in April 2019.

While early HomePod reviews praised the speaker’s sound quality, it was expensive and hampered by Siri flaws. HomePod sales have reportedly been lackluster over the years it’s been available, but the speaker has fetched high prices on eBay since its discontinuation and has become something of a collector’s item. With the right price, size, and feature set, there’s a chance that the new HomePod could be even more successful.

HomePod integrated with Apple TV

Earlier this year, Gurman said he believed Apple was also planning a new device that would combine a HomePod, Apple TV, and camera. This composite device, he said, “is likely to be at the heart of Apple’s approach” to the home.

AppleTV and HomePod feature

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

No other details are known about the HomePod/Apple TV lineup at this time.

HomePod Mini in more countries

Last month, Apple released software version 15.6 for 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 will likely mean the launch of the HomePod mini in Sweden and Norway in the coming months. Apple has also 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 ​​under HomePod mini settings.

Apple released the HomePod mini in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland in late March, about a month after rolling out Dutch language support on HomePods.

support matter

Matter is an upcoming connectivity standard that will enable compatible smart home accessories to work together seamlessly 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” across its software platforms.

Controlling Matter accessories with the Home app and Siri will require a HomePod, HomePod mini, Apple TV 4K, or Apple TV HD that acts as a home hub.

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