HomePod Mini Turns Two as Apple Looks to Expand Lineup Next Year
The HomePod mini was released to customers two years ago this week, marking the first addition to the HomePod family since the original speaker launched in 2018. Two years after its release, the HomePod lineup has remained relatively stagnant, but that's set to change in 2023.
When Apple announced the HomePod mini in October 2020, the original full-sized HomePod remained in the lineup. In March 2021, however, Apple discontinued the full-sized HomePod, saying it wanted to dedicate more time to the HomePod mini. The HomePod mini addressed several of the biggest concerns from customers about the original HomePod, including size and price. Unlike the original HomePod, the HomePod mini costs $99 and comes in a wider variety of color options.
Now, as the HomePod mini turns two, we look to the future and what Apple has in store.
Resurrection of Full-Sized HomePod
The biggest HomePod news we're expecting in the near future is a resurrection of the original full-sized HomePod. When Apple discontinued the original HomePod, many speculated the reason for the decision came down to the HomePod's $299 price tag and its lack of features, which led to lackluster sales.
For 2023, Apple is expected to launch an updated version of the full-sized HomePod it discontinued to fill the current gap in the HomePod lineup. The newer HomePod is rumored to feature the S8 chip from the Apple Watch Series 8, providing faster performance for Siri requests and different features.
Other features could include a larger multi-touch display at the top, but the overall form factor and design are expected to stay the same. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the new HomePod to launch in the first quarter of next year.
An Updated HomePod mini
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple could update the HomePod mini in the near future, but specific details are unknown. The current HomePod mini is powered by the S5 chip, the same chip found in the Apple Watch Series 5 and the first-generation Apple Watch SE. In a hypothetical update, Apple could include a newer and faster chip, allowing for faster processing of Siri requests and features like Handoff.
Apple TV and HomePod Combo
A HomePod product that's still under early development is an Apple TV and HomePod combo, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Gurman reports that Apple is developing a HomePod speaker that includes the functionality of the Apple TV, offering an all-in-one TV entertainment system with a display. The product is also reported to have a camera, possibly allowing for FaceTime and video calls. No other details are known at this time as the product launch is likely a while away, assuming it launches at all.
What would you like to see in a future HomePod product? Let us know in the comments below.