What you need to know
- Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that a new HomePod is set to be announced soon.
- The new HomePod could arrive later in 2022 or in the first part of 2023.
- It isn't clear whether Kuo means a refreshed HomePod mini, or something else entirely.
Apple is set to announce a new HomePod either later in 2022 or in the early part of 2023, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
According to a post to Twitter, Kuo believes that while a new HomePod is indeed in the works, it might not offer a new or innovative hardware design. However, it isn't clear whether Kuo is speaking about a replacement for the now-discontinued HomePod or if we should expect the newer HomePod mini to get a refresh.
Apple would release a new version of HomePod in 4Q22-1Q23, and there may not be much innovation in hardware design. Smart speakers are undoubtedly one of the essential elements of the home ecosystem, but I think Apple is still figuring out how to succeed in this market.
Apple's HomePod strategy is one that has caused confusion among analysts and customers alike. The larger HomePod offered impressive sound at a high price and ultimately sold poorly, by all accounts. The $99 HomePod mini is more popular, but its small size means it can't compete with the larger cousin. It's possible that the new HomePod Kuo mentions is a new size or form factor entirely — but we might need to wait for a follow-up tweet to be sure. Previous reports by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman had suggested a new HomePod midi of sorts was already being worked on, of course. Talk of a HomePod merged with an Apple TV won't go away, either.
As Kuo also points out, smart speakers are "essential elements of the home ecosystem" and while Siri is far from the best smart assistant, there is still merit in having HomePods around. Especially if you're a heavy HomeKit user, for example.