Apple’s upcoming HomePod may feature touchscreen and iPhone 16 chip

    Apple is reportedly working on a new HomePod smart speaker featuring a touchscreen display and powered by the upcoming A18 chip, according to code references discovered in Apple’s backend systems. The device, identified as “HomeAccessory17,1,” is expected to run on a version of tvOS and may include Apple Intelligence features.

    The new HomePod is believed to combine elements of the current HomePod and Apple TV, potentially serving as a smart home hub with HomeKit controls. It could compete with similar products like Amazon’s Echo Show and Google’s Nest Hub.

    Code references suggest the device will use the A18 chip, which is set to debut in the iPhone 16 lineup later this year. This powerful processor would enable AI capabilities through Apple Intelligence, a suite of features announced at WWDC 2024.

    While details about the device’s appearance remain scarce, previous reports have described concepts ranging from a three-in-one device combining Apple TV, HomePod, and FaceTime camera functionalities to a HomePod with a screen on a swivelling arm.

    The inclusion of a touchscreen display would mark a significant departure from Apple’s current HomePod design, potentially allowing for more intuitive user interactions and expanded functionality.

    Despite these developments, Bloomberg reports that Apple is unlikely to release a new HomePod before 2025. The company has been exploring various smart home device concepts, including running tvOS on iPad-sized screens.

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