When Will Apple Touchscreen HomePod Comes?

Apple is rumored to be developing a new full-sized HomePod with a built-in Apple Touchscreen HomePod Comes display, expected to launch in the first half of 2024. This touchscreen HomePod would represent a major evolution of Apple’s smart speaker lineup, bringing new functionality and features. In this article, we’ll analyze the rumors about the touchscreen HomePod, discuss what a touchscreen could enable, and consider when Apple might release this device.

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Overview of Rumors and Reports

Rumors of a touchscreen HomePod first surfaced in early 2023 from reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note, Kuo said that Apple is working on a new full-sized HomePod with an LED display on top, slated for release in 2024 [1].

Since then, additional reports have emerged providing more details on Apple’s plans:

  • Touchscreen display: The touchscreen is expected to be an LCD display, much like the screens used on iPhones and iPads [2]. This would allow for display of information, control via touch, and potentially video playback.
  • Similar design to 2nd gen HomePod: The overall design is said to look largely the same as the 2nd generation, spherical HomePod released in 2022, with the touchscreen on top [2]. This implies a high-quality speaker system similar to existing HomePods.
  • Runs tvOS: Under the hood, the new HomePod will run a version of tvOS, Apple’s smart TV platform. This provides a foundation for a screen-based interface [2].
  • Lower latency Handoff: With a screen, the new HomePod may enable faster and lower latency Handoff transitions with HomePod mini [1]. Handoff allows seamlessly transferring music playback between devices.
  • First half 2024 release: Kuo initially predicted the touchscreen HomePod would launch in 2023, but has since pushed back the estimated release window to the first half of 2024 [1].

So in summary, it appears Apple is developing a Siri-enabled smart speaker with a touchscreen on top. The overall size and audio performance is expected to be similar to the 2nd gen HomePod, while the touchscreen could enable advanced controls, visual information, Handoff improvements, and potentially video playback.

Why a Touchscreen Makes Sense for HomePod

Adding a touchscreen to HomePod is a logical next step for the product line that would open up some compelling new capabilities. Here are some of the benefits a display could provide:

  • Enhanced visual interface: A touchscreen would allow Apple to add graphical interfaces, information tiles, album artwork, weather charts, smart home controls, and more. This makes the device more useful as an information and control center.
  • Touch controls: Beyond voice, users could control music, smart home devices, and access information via touch. This would improve accessibility and provide redundancy.
  • Display lyrics synced to music: One of the most popular requests for HomePod is displaying song lyrics. A screen makes this possible, immersing users further in the music.
  • Video and photo viewing: While likely not a full-fledged TV replacement, a HomePod with a screen could feasibly support video and photo viewing to some degree, like Apple’s smart displays competitors.
  • Better Handoff experience: As Kuo noted, a lower latency Handoff experience could allow near-instant music transfer between the new HomePod and HomePod minis. The screen facilitates this.
  • Platform for new app capabilities: Developers could tap into the screen with enhanced HomePod apps and experiences. This increases the versatility and use cases.
  • Smart home control center: With Apple’s increased smart home push, a HomePod with touchscreen could act as an intelligent home hub to control devices, scenes, and automations.

Overall, a touchscreen allows Apple to transform HomePod from just a smart speaker into a more versatile smart display. It unlocks plenty of new ways owners could use the device.

Concept Imagery and Mockups

While Apple has not released any official imagery of the rumored touchscreen HomePod, concept designers and app developers have envisioned what the product could look like based on the rumors.

For example, Parker Ortolani shared this concept rendering on Twitter showing a HomePod with a rounded rectangular touchscreen on top:

Other designers have envisioned the touchscreen as fully wrapping around the spherical top of the HomePod in a continuous display:

Apple app developerGrant Davis also mocked up this realistic concept showing iOS-style app icons and interfaces on the HomePod touchscreen:

These early concepts showcase the potential of adding visual information and touch interactivity. It’s reasonable to assume Apple’s own design would have a seamless, elegant integration of the screen into the HomePod’s spherical form factor.

Smart Home Hub Potential

One intriguing possibility with a touchscreen HomePod is its potential to serve as an enhanced smart home hub.

Apple already has the foundation in place with HomeKit for controlling smart home accessories like lights, locks, switches, thermostats, and more. But the experience is currently split across multiple devices like iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Siri.

A HomePod with a touchscreen could consolidate smart home management into a dedicated, stationary device optimized for home automation. Some possibilities include:

  • View live video from smart security cameras
  • Control individual lights, switches, and accessories via visual tiles
  • Adjust smart thermostats and room-by-room temperatures
  • Create and manage HomeKit scenes to trigger groups of devices
  • Set timers and schedules for automations
  • View door/window/motion sensor status at a glance
  • Monitor any HomeKit camera feeds on the display
  • Integration with upcoming Matter standard for wider accessory support

This would fulfill the promise of Apple’s smart home efforts by giving users intuitive touch and voice control of connected accessories right from their HomePod. It becomes the command center to manage, monitor, and interact with the smart home.

The touchscreen would also allow Apple to surface proactive, contextual suggestions for home automation. For example, turning on the coffee maker when a morning alarm stops, or triggering the “Movie Night” scene when sitting down to watch TV in the evening.

With Apple pushing deeper into smart home technology, a HomePod smart display could be the next step toward seamless home control and automation.

What is Comparison to Amazon Echo Show and Google Nest Hub Max

If Apple releases a touchscreen HomePod in 2024, it will be entering an already established market of smart displays like the Amazon Echo Show and Google Nest Hub Max.

How might Apple’s rumored offering compare to these existing products? There are a few key differentiators:

  • Premium audio quality: HomePod mini and 2nd gen HomePod are widely praised for their excellent room-filling sound, far better than comparably priced Alexa and Assistant speakers. The new model should match this audio prowess.
  • Tight iPhone/iPad/Mac integration: Apple has a built-in advantage with seamless device syncing, Handoff, and ecosystem lock-in. Touchscreen features could take advantage of this.
  • Privacy focus: Unlike Amazon and Google, Apple positions privacy and data protection as selling points. Not collecting user data is a competitive edge.
  • Superior chip performance: Apple’s A-series chips outclass rival solutions. This powers advanced computation for OS capabilities and on-device processing.
  • Siri assistant: While still lagging in areas, Siri is improving. And the touchscreen allows more versatile voice-first usage scenarios.
  • Elegant hardware design: Apple’s industrial design pedigree is world-class. The new HomePod should bear the same level of refinement as other Apple products.

Of course, Amazon and Google have software, services, and pricing advantages of their own after years on the market. But Apple could leverage its hardware expertise, ecosystem integration, and sound quality to differentiate the touchscreen HomePod in the competitive space.

What is Release Date and Pricing Considerations

So when will Apple fans actually be able to buy this rumored product? Here are some insights into potential timing and price points:

  • Launch aimed for 1H 2024: Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest prediction points to a launch in the first half of 2024 [1]. Other rumors have corroborated this tentative timeframe.
  • Pushed back from original 2023 target: The touchscreen HomePod was initially rumored for 2023, but technical challenges may have delayed things to 2024. Still, a 2024 launch would make sense.
  • Two year gap after 2nd gen: The 2nd gen HomePod launched in early 2022. Following Apple

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