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Apple May Be Developing a HomePod with Touchscreen Powered by Apple Intelligence: Report

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Apple is said to be developing a new product – a home accessory that will run on a software variant of tvOS, according to a report. It is said to be a touchscreen version of the HomePod with displays and cameras, one which has long been rumoured to be in development. The device is speculated to be powered by Apple Intelligence – the iPhone maker’s suite of artificial intelligence (AI) services that it introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 on June 10.

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New HomePod

In a report, MacRumors revealed that it had discovered a code in Apple’s backend that references a new identifier category “HomeAccessory17,1”, which is speculated to be a HomePod with a touchscreen display. This suggests that the device may be powered by the A18 chip – the same SoC which is also rumoured to power the entire upcoming iPhone 16 lineup.

Courtesy of this chipset, the device may get Apple Intelligence features. As per the report, this “home accessory” is speculated to run on a variant of tvOS, the operating system of Apple TV. The new OS may be named homeOS, the reference of which was previously said to be discovered in a tvOS 17.4 beta which was released in January.

In April, a tipster with the username Kosutami (@Kosutami_Ito) leaked an image of the display cover of the rumoured upcoming HomePod, suggesting that the device may have a touchscreen LCD screen surrounded by the speaker. It is speculated to display information – such as media playback controls and incoming notifications.

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This development builds upon the prediction by TF Securities International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who suggested that the Cupertino-based tech giant may launch a HomePod with a 7-inch touchscreen display in 2024. It was theorised to compete against devices such as Amazon’s Echo Show and Google’s Nest Hub. At the time, Kuo said that Tianma would be the sole supplier of the purported HomePod. While it was speculated to come out in H1 2024, Apple has not released any similar device so far.

However, there are two Apple events still planned for the year, and the rumoured touchscreen HomePod may yet still launch this year.

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