Apple is reportedly working on a new HomePod with a built-in 7-inch display, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo suggests that the new HomePod will be announced in early 2024 and will have a different design compared to the current model. The new 7-inch panel will be supplied by the Chinese company Tianma and will enable “tighter integration with Apple’s other hardware products, marking a significant shift in the company’s smart home strategy.”

The current HomePod, which was announced in 2017, was discontinued in 2021. However, Apple still has a strong interest in the smart home market and has been exploring different product ideas to drive its smart home ecosystem. One of these ideas is an iPad-like device that can be mounted on walls to control HomeKit accessories, play video, and handle FaceTime calls. Another idea is an all-in-one device that combines the functionality of the iPad, Apple TV, and HomePod, similar to Amazon’s Echo Show.

It’s not clear at this point whether the new HomePod with a built-in display will be the all-in-one device or whether it will simply be an update to the current HomePod form factor. Some HomePod concepts have already imagined what a display on top of Apple’s smart speaker capable of showing basic information such as media controls and smart home accessories would look like.

Apple HomePod 2nd gen

If Apple does release a HomePod with a fully functional display, it could mark a significant shift in the company’s smart home strategy. With the addition of a display, the HomePod could become a more versatile device for controlling smart home accessories, streaming media, and making video calls. It could also serve as a hub for Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem, enabling users to control their smart home devices from a central location.

While we’ll have to wait until 2024 to see the device in action, it’s clear that Apple is committed to the smart home market and is constantly exploring new ways to enhance its ecosystem. Whether it’s an all-in-one device or an update to the current HomePod, the addition of a display could make the HomePod a must-have device for any Apple-based smart home.