Apple is reportedly working on a lineup of smart displays to take on the likes of Google and Amazon in the smart home market.
As reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the company is working on a range of new smart home displays. Specifically, the reporter says that "the push into smart displays will start with a tablet product — essentially a low-end iPad — that can control things like thermostats and lights, show video and handle FaceTime chats, people with knowledge of the plans said."
The description of the new product makes it sound much similar to smart home displays like Google's Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max and Amazon's Echo Show lineup. However, Apple could go a step further as far as portability goes. Gurman says that "the product could be mounted on walls or elsewhere using magnetic fasteners, positioning it as more of a home gadget than a regular iPad."
That's an interesting prospect, as it's currently unclear how users would mount the iPad to the wall with magnets without doing some home renovation. Google has announced a similar kind of product with its new Pixel Tablet that can magnetically attach to a speaker dock, so perhaps Apple will make a similar setup.
Apple could be building even larger displays
According to the report, "Apple has also discussed the idea of building larger smart-home displays, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private."
Amazon has made a large smart display that you can mount to the wall, almost like a picture frame, so Apple could theoretically build such a display. Maybe this could even be the Apple TV — meaning, an Apple television — that some have longed for over the last decade or so.
That's definitely a long shot, however. Most likely, Apple is working on a number of potential products that are in the prototype stage. The company is less likely to launch a range of smart home products and instead focus on a few key ones that it thinks will have the largest impact.
The return of the large HomePod seems to be the first step in Apple trying to go deeper into the smart home market. The company seems to have thought, "well, we already have one product we can easily add to the lineup" and thus, the HomePod is back. We'll have to wait to see what's next.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.