In a report where he lays out the possibility of a new Apple TV that will boast a combined HomePod and camera, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also mentions that Apple is exploring a future high-end HomePod speaker that could include an iPad connected via a robotic arm that tracks and follows users around a room during FaceTime calls.
From the report:
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant, is also mulling the launch of a high-end speaker with a touch screen to better compete with market leaders Google and Amazon.com Inc., the people said. Such a device would combine an iPad with a HomePod speaker and also include a camera for video chat. Apple has explored connecting the iPad to the speaker with a robotic arm that can move to follow a user around a room, similar to Amazon’s latest Echo Show gadget.
The development of both products is reportedly still in the early stages, and the company could decide to launch neither or change key features. The company often works on new concepts and devices without ultimately shipping them. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.
The new offerings may help expand Apple’s share of the smart-home category. The company held a tiny 2% share of the TV streaming device market in 2020, while the HomePod has had less than 10% of the smart speaker market during most of its offering.