It’s been close to two years since Apple discontinued the original HomePod. But if anything, Apple’s first smart speaker has surged in popularity since then, and there’s been plenty of speculation about a successor.
For now, HomePod users have had to settle for the smaller HomePod mini, which was greeted by mixed reviews upon its unveiling in 2020.
Here’s the latest skinny on the rumored new HomePod, including what it could look like, when it might arrive, and how much it might cost.
Update: January 19, 2023: Apple has announced an all-new full-sized HomePod. While we wait for our review unit, here are TechHive’s initial thoughts on the new HomePod.
New Apple HomePod: Your questions answered
When was the original Apple HomePod discontinued?
Is there a new Apple HomePod coming?
How big will the new Apple HomePod be?
What kind of chip will the new Apple HomePod have?
The first HomePod packed Apple’s custom A8 chip, found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the iPad mini 4, and the fourth-gen Apple TV.
According to Bloomberg’s Gurman, the new Apple HomePod will run on the S8, the chip that powers the current Apple Watch Series 8.
Gurman first made that prediction last summer, and he repeated it at the beginning of 2023.
What kind of audio quality will the new Apple HomePod have?
The first HomePod packed an impressive punch when it came to audio, arriving complete with seven “horn-loaded” tweeters and a high-excursion woofer, with each driver powered by its own discrete amplifier. The newer HomePod mini, in contrast, makes do with a single full-range driver and dual passive radiators.
It’s still not clear what driver configuration the new Apple HomePod will have, but Bloomberg’s Gurman thinks it will boast audio performance that’s “closer” to the first HomePod, which should be encouraging news for audiophiles.
Will the new Apple HomePod have a display?
Apple has yet to release a smart display similar to Amazon’s Echo Show devices or Google’s Nest Hubs, sticking instead to its audio-only HomePod and HomePod mini.
There was some intriguing chatter in 2021 about potential iPad, HomePod, and Apple TV mashups, and in April 2022, Mark Gurman noted that he “absolutely” thinks “a new HomePod is coming–specifically, a device that combines a HomePod, Apple TV, and FaceTime camera.”
Gurman also believes Apple has yet another display-equipped home product in development: a “kitchen device” that “combines an iPad and a speaker,” although it’s not clear whether this particular gadget would count as a HomePod.
Exciting stuff, but Gurman warned at the time of his predictions that the devices are still “in [Apple’s] labs” and that “not all will see the light of day.”
Meanwhile, the new HomePod that’s reportedly coming soon probably won’t have a display, although it may have an “updated touch control panel on the top,”
Will the new Apple HomePod function as a HomeKit hub?
The first-generation HomePod and the current HomePod mini can function as HomeKit hubs, so it’s all but certain that the second-generation HomePod will have that feature.
Also, given Apple’s support for Matter, it’s also a safe bet that any new HomePod will be able to operate as a Thread border router.
How much will the new Apple HomePod cost?
One of the sticking points of the original HomePod was its price tag: a whopping $349, which Apple eventually chopped to a still hefty $299. The newer HomePod mini, in contrast, costs a more reasonable $99.
Naturally, we still don’t know how much a second-generation HomePod might cost, although Gurman recently reported that it will likely have a “lower price.”
All bets are off, however, when it comes to a potential high-end HomePod with a display. Could such a device cost, say, $499 or more? It’s not out of the question.
When will the new Apple HomePod arrive?
When will a new HomePod mini arrive?
Updated on January 9, 2023 with new details and developments.