A mysterious Apple 'Home Accessory' just leaked as HomePod and Apple TV combo device rumors persist

HomePod and iPhone handoff
(Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

There have long been rumors that Apple is working on a new smart home device that would be a cross between the HomePod and the Apple TV, but so far Apple is yet to confirm its existence. Now, a new leak appears to have done it anyway.

According to that leak, Apple is currently working on a device that has the model identifier "HomeAccessory17,1." That identifier does not currently exist and what's more, there is no such device called "HomeAccessory" anywhere in Apple's current lineup. The HomePod uses the "AudioAccessory" identifier, however.

The new reference could suggest that Apple is getting ready to launch a whole new type of device, but when that could happen is far from clear.


The news was shared by MacRumors which says it discovered code referencing the device on Apple's backend, suggesting that it is not yet ready for public consumption.

However, perhaps the most interesting part of the leak is the suggestion that this mystery device could use that A18 chip, silicon that is also expected to power the iPhone 16 later this year. If so, we could see this device sport Apple Intelligence – a feature that won't be coming to existing HomePod hardware.

"Interestingly, the 17,1 in the identifier name suggests that this device may receive Apple's upcoming A18 chip, which will be used in all four iPhone 16 models later this year," the report notes. "With the A18 chip, the HomeAccessory device would have the power for Apple Intelligence."

If Apple really is reading a new smart home device we could see it debut in September around the same time that new iPhones and Apple Watches are also expected to break cover.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.