Unreleased HomePod With LCD Display Allegedly Shown in Images [Update]
Update:Kosutami has since revealed that the LcdUTest app shown on the HomePod's display has been superimposed and doesn't exist in the original picture, but the LCD display panel shown on the HomePod is real.
Apple is rumored to be developing a new HomePod with a screen, and new images shared online allegedly give us a first glimpse of the new smart speaker.
The above image appears to show a HomePod similar in size to the second-generation HomePod that was launched earlier this year, but with what appears to be a functioning LCD display on the top.
The image was shared by device collector and leaker known as "Kosutami," who has previously shared accurate pre-release information about Apple's FineWoven accessories, various prototypes such as the MagSafe chargers and AirPods in different color options, and more.
Earlier in the day, Kosutami also shared images of component parts allegedly belonging to a prototype HomePod that features a large touch screen sensor at the top, with a much larger area than the current HomePod panel.
Separately, 9to5Mac claims to have verified the legitimacy of these images with its own sources, and says that the prototype, codenamed B720, is a new product being actively worked on by Apple, rather than something that the company has experimented with in the past.
According to 9to5Mac, the LcdUTest app shown on the assembled HomePod's display panel is an internal app used by engineers to test the new display. The outlet says that code in tvOS 17 suggests that Apple Music and Apple Podcasts are the first apps being rewritten to be compatible with the new display, which will show a blurred animation based on the colors of the album art when a song or podcast is playing. The screen could also potentially show important notifications.
An Engineering build HomePod frameshell with a completely different glass on top- it’s set for touchscreen, with black bezel
The design of shell is similar to HomePod 2nd gen's, not the 1st gen—it stands might decided add 🖥️ for 2's but not at last, OR it’s next generation pic.twitter.com/W5zRIVGPiK — Kosutami (@KosutamiSan) October 21, 2023
Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman was first to suggest in 2021 that Apple is working on new HomePods with displays and cameras. Earlier this year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed Apple plans to release a redesigned HomePod with a 7-inch display in the first half of 2024.
In the long term, Apple is believed to be rethinking its smart home strategy, and is working on a combined Apple TV and HomePod device, as well as a HomePod with a screen mounted on a robotic arm, according to a Gurman.