There’s a steady drumbeat of rumors claiming a successor to the first, full-size HomePod could be on the horizon, possibly even this year.
It’s been over a year Apple discontinued the original HomePod† But Apple’s first smart speaker has since become hugely popular, and since then there has been speculation as to whether Apple could release a successor. For now, HomePod users will have to settle for the smaller HomePod miniwhich was greeted with mixed reviews when it was unveiled in 2020.
Here’s the latest skinny on the rumored new HomePod, including what it might look like, when it might arrive and how much it might cost.
Will there be a new Apple HomePod?
Apple hasn’t said anything about a successor to the original Siri-powered HomePod, but there’s growing speculation that a new version of the larger HomePod is in the works.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was one of the first to introduce a new HomePod. predictedbut he was light on details, only noting that “there may not be much innovation in hardware design.”
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman followed suit in June 2022 with more detailsreports that a new and larger HomePod is on the way soon.
How big will the new Apple HomePod be?
Again, we haven’t seen much detail about the exact specs of the new HomePod, but Gurman says the redesigned HomePod will be “closer to the original HomePod” in size.
The first, full-size HomePod measured 6.8 x 5.6 inches (HxW) and gave the scale a weight of 5.5 pounds, significantly larger and heavier than the 3.3 x 3.6-inch (HxW) and 0.76-pound HomePod miniwhich arrived in November 2020.
What kind of chip will the new Apple HomePod have?
The first HomePod featured Apple’s custom A8 chip, found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the iPad mini 4, and the fourth-generation Apple TV.
According to Bloomberg’s Gurman, the new Apple HomePod will run on the unreleased S8, the successor to the S7 chip found in the current Apple Watch Series 7.
What kind of sound quality will the new Apple HomePod have?
The first HomePod impressed when it came to audio, complete with seven “horn-loaded” tweeters and a high-excursion woofer, with each driver powered by its own discrete amplifier. The newer HomePod mini, on the other hand, makes do with a single, full-range driver and dual passive radiators.
It’s still not clear what driver configuration the new Apple HomePod will have, but Bloomberg’s Gurman thinks it will boast “audio performance” that is “closer” to the first HomePod, which should be encouraging news for audiophiles.
Will the new Apple HomePod have a display?
Apple has yet to release a smart display similar to Amazon’s Echo Show devices or Google’s Nest Hubs, instead with the audio-only HomePod and HomePod mini. Could that change with a second-generation HomePod?
There had been some intriguing chatter in 2021 about a potential Apple smart display that would combine an iPad with a HomePod, and in his most recent report, Mark Gurman said the new HomePod will have an “updated screen on top” with potentially “multi-touch functionality.” But it’s not clear whether that screen could be a larger iPad-like screen or a much smaller size.
Will the new Apple HomePod function as a HomeKit hub?
Since Apple has confirmed iPads no longer work as HomeKit hubs when it releases iOS 16 this fall, and that the first-generation HomePod and current HomePod mini can function as HomeKit hubs, it’s almost certain that the secondgeneration HomePod will have that feature. Given Apple’s support for Matter, it’s also a safe bet that any new HomePod will be able to work as a Thread boundary router. It was always a little strange that a mobile device like the iPad could still function as a home hub.
How much will the new Apple HomePod cost?
One of the sticking points of the original HomePod was its price tag: a whopping $349, which Apple eventually slashed to a still hefty $299. The newer HomePod mini, on the other hand, costs a more reasonable $99.
Of course, we still don’t know how much a new HomePod could cost, although it’s hard to believe it will be more than the original’s $349 price.
When is the new Apple HomePod coming?
The release date of the new Apple HomePod is still a question mark, though both Kuo and Gurman say it could be sometime between this fall and mid-2023.
When was the original Apple HomePod discontinued?
Apple removed the first HomePod from its lineup in March 2021suddenly and without explanation, although it’s fair to say that slow sales were behind the move.
In the months following its discontinuation, the original HomePod became a highly sought-after item, often fetching prices north of $500. Given the resurgent popularity of the larger HomePod, it’s less surprising that Apple would try the bigger sibling of the larger HomePod. Reviving HomePod mini.