A HomePod display would be a sure-fire purchase for those of us invested in Apple’s HomeKit platform, but the latest word is that a screen-equipped HomePod won’t be happening anytime soon.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple’s brewing smart-home efforts, including a rumored HomePod with a display, have been pushed back until next year “at the earliest.”
The reason for the delay: cost-cutting measures aimed at preventing layoffs in Cupertino, Gurman reports.
This news story is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best smart speakers.
Apple’s smart home efforts aren’t the only victims of belt-tightening at the company, with Gurman writing of budget cuts “across several teams,” delayed bonuses, a hiring freeze for some departments, slashed travel budgets, and other measures.
Among the smart home products that Apple was said to be working on included a smart display that could be “essentially a low-end iPad” for controlling home devices, along with running FaceTime video chats. There’s also been chatter about a possible iPad dock that would turn the tablet into a smart display.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment.
A HomePod display would give a major boost to Apple’s smart home lineup, which looks pretty anemic compared to its competitors.
Both Amazon and Google have had their own smart displays for years, complete with multiple sizes and generations. Amazon’s latest 10-inch Echo Show display even has a motorized screen that can follow you around a room.
A HomePod display would make for a great way to monitor and control HomeKit-enabled devices, as well as get on-screen calendar notifications, weather reports, reminders, and other daily essentials, not to mention FaceTime calls.
Apple did take a step forward last month when it released the second-generation HomePod speaker, although it took a step backwards late last year when it pulled its much hyped new Home architecture following complaints of buggy operation.
An updated version of the revamped Home architecture, which Apple has billed as “more reliable and efficient,” appears to be on tap for iOS 16.4.