According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo(Opens in a new tab), the tech company is working on a version of its smart speaker with a seven-inch display, to be launched in the first half of 2024.
Details about the device are scarce, but Kuo believes this product would enable a tighter integration with Apple’s other hardware products.
Kuo believes that the display panel in Apple’s upcoming HomePod will be produced by Chinese company Tianma, which produces displays for smartphones, laptops, tablets, and cars. If the HomePod deal goes well, Kuo thinks Apple might partner with Tianma to produce panels for its future iPads as well.
We’ve actually heard a similar rumor before. In 2021, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said Apple is working on speakers with built-in screens and cameras, but offered no fixed launch date for such devices.
And in January this year, Gurman said Apple is working on a cheap, iPad-like device that will allow users to control various smart home functions. While this sounds like a different device to what Kuo is suggesting, it is indicative of Apple potentially thinking about strengthening its smart home lineup.
Apple recently revived its original HomePod, making it a little cheaper while retaining its design and most sonic characteristics. Both the HomePod and the HomePod mini have a small, touch-screen panel on top which shows an animation when you invoke Siri, but are otherwise very much display-less.
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