A month after discontinuing the original HomePod smart speaker, Apple is reportedly working on a new product that combines traditional smart speaker functionalities with that of an Apple TV.
The next Apple TV could integrate a HomePod and camera
In a bid to revamp its smart-home hardware offering, Bloombergreports that Apple is in the early stages of developing an advanced set-top box that integrates a HomePod speaker and a FaceTime camera for video calls through a connected TV.People familiar with the matter report that it would offer all basic Apple TV functions like streaming video and gaming, as well as smart speaker functions like streaming music and Siri support.
Because the product is still in the early stages, Apple could choose to cancel the device entirely. But releasing a product that combines TV, speaker, and video functionality is perhaps Apple’s best chance to succeed.
The now-discontinued HomePod
Echo Show-like HomePod with robotic arm in the pipeline too
Apple is still looking to compete directly with Amazon and Google, though. In addition to the device described above, the company is reportedly working on a high-end Smart Display that combines iPad and HomePod functionalities.Like Amazon’s Echo Show, the device could follow users around a room with a robotic arm that connects the display to the speaker itself. Whether this makes the cut on the final product will remain to be seen.
Entering the Smart Display would be much tougher, though. Market leaders Amazon and Google have been competing in the segment for quite some, while Facebook and other brands like Lenovo also sell their own hardware.