As for smart speakers, Apple has so far released the HomePod (announced in 2017) and HomePod mini (announced in 2020) – and rumor has it that we may get another device from the same series before the beginning of the year.
This comes from a reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuowhich says that a new model will appear in the last quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023. This section covers from October 2022 to March 2023.
What Kuo is not saying is whether it will be a full-size HomePod or a miniature version. Apple shut down a larger version of the smart speaker in March last year, leading us to think we might get a new HomePod mini. However, there is always a chance that Apple will return the original in an updated form.
Apple will release a new version of the HomePod in 4Q22-1Q23 and there may not be many innovations in hardware design. Smart speakers are undoubtedly one of the key elements of the home ecosystem, but I think Apple is still figuring out how to succeed in this market.May 20, 2022
Kuo doesn’t reveal much about what the next HomePod may bring, but says “there may not be much innovation in hardware design.” In other words, the new model will look similar to what we saw before from Apple.
This may come as no surprise – there aren’t really that many ways to design a smart speaker, and the current aesthetics of the HomePod work well enough. However, we also heard rumors that Apple may be running a HomePod with an attached display.
Amazon and Google are already making smart speakers with integrated screens, of course, but maybe Apple isn’t ready to go that far in 2022 or 2023. As always, as soon as there’s any official news about this, we’ll give you all the details here on TechRadar.
Analysis: Apple needs a better smart speaker
As Ming-Chi Kuo himself points out, smart speakers are “one of the key elements of the home ecosystem,” which means Apple really needs to have a HomePod or two on sale. The company is still “figuring out” how to succeed with the smart home kit, Kuo said.
We would agree with this assessment: our list of features we want to see on the HomePod 2 is quite extensive, and this time we hope for Bluetooth connectivity, access to more music services and better performance than Siri.
Siri has long lagged behind Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in terms of smart digital assistants – it’s just not as large or as intuitive as its competitors. And he prefers to use Apple’s services and nothing else.
The story is similar when it comes to the smart home more broadly. Alexa and Google devices work with many more devices than Apple HomeKit, which is a flaw that Apple will have to fix if it wants to catch up.