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Apple’s HomePod mini fans have been waiting impatiently for an updated model since it was made available almost two years ago.
This company hasn’t commented on a replacement for the original, Siri-enabled HomePod. Still, there is a mounting rumor that a larger HomePod is in the works.
One of the first to forecast the new HomePod was Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, although he was vague in his predictions, saying that “there may not be much advancement in hardware design.”
Since no official information is available regarding the smart speaker, let’s check the rumors and consider how the new HomePod may look.
HomePod release date and price
Although Kuo speculates that the new Apple HomePod could launch anytime between this fall and the middle of 2023, the exact release date is still unknown.
One of this device’s drawbacks was its expensive $349 price tag, which Apple ultimately reduced to $299. In contrast, the recent mini model has a more affordable price of $99.
Naturally, we don’t yet know how much this device would cost, but it seems unlikely that it will be more expensive than the $349 of the original.
Size and design
According to reports, the redesigned model will be closer to the original HomePod in terms of size. The first full-size HomePod was 6.8 × 5.6 inches and weighed 5.5 pounds, making it significantly bigger and heavier than the 0.76-pound, 3.3 x 3.6-inch, and November 2020-released HomePod mini.
The exterior of the new device may still be primarily fabric, but it may also experiment with new form factors. The smart display or a HomePod with a screen had been said to be on Apple’s plan, so Apple might offer a solution for you if you like a display on your smart device.
Furthermore, the reports suggest that the revised model will have a top-mounted display and maybe multi-touch capabilities. However, it’s unclear if that display may be a much smaller screen or a larger one like the iPad.
If you’re wondering why there will be a top-mounted display, it is positioned above the Bluetooth speakers to ensure that sound may spread out in all directions. With that said, one major drawback is that the user won’t be able to see the display from the front, which can be a double whammy for video-calling-enabled speakers.
The initial HomePod included Apple’s A8 custom chip, also used in the iPad mini 4, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and fourth-generation Apple TV. On the other hand, the upcoming S8, which will replace the S7 chip in the current Apple Watch Series 7, will power the device.
Regarding audio, the original model delivered an outstanding punch thanks to its seven horn-loaded tweeters, high-excursion woofer, and drivers driven by independent amplifiers. In contrast, the more recent HomePod mini gets by with just one full-range driver and two passive radiators.
Although this product’s driver configuration is still unknown, we believe it will deliver audio performance closer to the original HomePod, which is good news for audiophiles. But just like every other tech enthusiast, we also anticipate that Apple will use new innovations to raise the bar on sound performance.
HomePod expected changes
As well as the potential for a display, Apple’s next-generation HomePod could offer a video-calling capability. This could be useful for making and receiving phone calls in the kitchen or at work, where your hands are full. It could also serve as a smart home control hub.
At the very least, a portable HomePod 2 with a huge built-in battery is expected if it does not have a display. Besides, we don’t believe such a gadget would require iPadOS; it would only have standard Apple programs like FaceTime, Apple Music, and Podcasts.
So, the next model might also function as one of the top Bluetooth speakers, similar to the Sonos Roam or Bose Portable Home Speaker.
The only feature of the present HomePod model we’d change is its ability to work with external streaming services. For example, although you can technically use AirPlay to stream most iPhone audio to a HomePod speaker, it would be lovely to play a Spotify-only podcast without interruptions.
Will a new HomePod dominate the market?
It’s safe to claim that poor sales were the reason behind the decision Apple abruptly and without warning discontinued the first HomePod from its portfolio back in March 2021.
Apple will undoubtedly try to revive its HomePod with new features and a slightly different appearance.
Will it sell well? The sales of its predecessors suggest that we shouldn’t base our decisions on them, but perhaps Apple has learned from its mistakes and will create a device that will appeal to most of us.