When Apple got rid of the original HomePod, many were disappointed that the HomePod mini was left as the only option for anyone who wanted a smart speaker made by the company. While the HomePod mini is a tiny but mighty speaker, the original HomePod is still louder and fuller and rocks the house with more bass.
Now, it appears that the regular-sized HomePod may come back from the dead. Here’s everything we know about the rumored HomePod model.
There isn’t anywhere for Apple to really go with the name of the rumored HomePod than go back into the past. It’s likely not to be smaller than the HomePod mini as the company would have to call it the HomePod mini…er?
Being that the rumors are that the new HomePod will be similar to the original HomePod in size and features, it is likely to be called the same as the original: HomePod.
While it would be interesting to see Apple introduce a radical new design to any product for kicks, the rumors so far state that Apple is unlikely to change the design of the upcoming HomePod. According to supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the new HomePod will be similar in size to the original HomePod.
Apple would release a new version of HomePod in 4Q22-1Q23, and there may not be much innovation in hardware design. Smart speakers are undoubtedly one of the essential elements of the home ecosystem, but I think Apple is still figuring out how to succeed in this market.”
So, it sounds like the new HomePod might look a lot like the old HomePod. That isn’t a bad thing. The original HomePod was a great-looking speaker and its design lent to an incredible listening experience.
Source: Stephen Warwick / iMore
If Apple does introduce a new regular-sized HomePod to its lineup, it would bring the total amount of models in the HomePod lineup to two: the HomePod and the HomePod mini.
While the HomePod mini would continue to satisfy most customers, bringing back a regular-sized HomePod is likely to cater to those interested in the best audio quality possible. Especially when paired in stereo, the regular-sized HomePod is a great option for those seeking to listen to high-quality music or for those who like to pair it to their Apple TV in place of a soundbar system.
Chip and connectivity
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the new HomePod is rumored to feature the S8 processor that is also expected to be featured in the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 models.
The HomePod, code-named B620, will run the same S8 chip coming to the watches and will be closer to the original HomePod in terms of size and audio performance rather than a new HomePod mini.”
One of the largest missions with the original HomePod was the lack of Bluetooth connectivity and, if the HomePod mini is any indication, the new one is unlikely to support it either. What it is Likely to support is Matter, the upcoming smart home interoperability standard that is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2022.
In addition to Matter, the new HomePod could also add support for ultra-wideband. That feature, which the HomePod mini already supports, enables features like Handoff, which allows you to easily transfer music from your iPhone to your HomePod and vice versa.
While the rumors so far provide some hints at what the new HomePod might offer in terms of features, no specific features have been confirmed just yet.
It’s not necessarily a technology feature but a larger HomePod will certainly offer a better audio experience for listeners — especially in the bass area. When paired, the HomePod can create an even better audio experience for listening to music or enjoying a movie if paired to an Apple TV.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the new HomePod may also feature a new display on the top of the speaker that enables multi-touch functionality. However, it’s unclear what adding multi-touch to the HomePod would be used for.
The new HomePod will have an updated display on top and there’s even been some talk of multi-touch functionality.”
Outside of that, the new HomePod is so far expected to include the same features as the HomePod mini.
It is unclear what the price point of the new HomePod may be. The original HomePod came in at a price point of $349 when it was launched and then eventually lowered to $299 before it was discontinued. That would lead any reasonable person to expect a $299 price point from the new one.
However, the biggest gripe most had with the original HomePod was the price. Many pointed to the cost as the reason that the original HomePod failed.
So, while there’s no way to know for sure, we’re all hoping for an introductory price lower than $299. Since the HomePod mini sits at a price point of $99, it would be perfect for everyone if the next generation of the HomePod came in at a price of $199. That would not only make it sit nicely alongside Apple’s own smart speaker lineup, but actually make it competitive with similar offerings from Google, Amazon, and Sonos.
Right now, the rumored HomePod is expected to be unveiled in either 2022 or 2023, but it depends on who you talk to. According to Mark Gurman, the new HomePod isn’t expected until next year. However, Ming-Chi Kuo says that the new speaker could arrive in 2022…or early 2023.
Like many recent Apple product releases, the launch of the new HomePod may be dictated by the same supply chain issues affecting Apple and the rest of the industry. That being said, if the release date seems too far in the future right now, you can always shop one of the best Homepod alternatives.