Apple may be working on an Amazon Echo Show rival

Is Apple about to shake up its lackluster range of connected home products? As Bloomberg analyst Mark Gurman reported in his latest Power On newsletter, the tech giant is reportedly working on “at least four” new connected home productsincluding a HomePod 2, an updated HomePod mini and several new devices.

Not all devices in development will make it to market, Gurman says, but it’s believed that the new HomePod and HomePod mini will be joined by a smart display for the kitchen and a device for the living room designed to connect an Apple TV, a camera and a HomePod.

The first of the latter two devices is described as a smart speaker with an “iPad-like” display — which appears to be Apple’s attempt to compete with Amazon’s Echo Show.

Gurman’s report marks the first time we’ve heard either device mentioned in detail online — although rumors of a speaker-sized Apple TV have been surfacing for several months now — and he writes that at least one of them could arrive late next year or early 2024.

Two new HomePods expected

As for HomePod 2 (codename B620) news, Gurman had already joined Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in pointing out its ongoing development. The device should work with the same S8 chip as the Apple Watch 8, and should arrive towards the end of the year.

It’s not yet clear what improvements could be made to the HomePod mini, but we can expect a redesign of the form factor and the addition of support for Dolby Atmos spatial audio (a feature that boasts his big brother).

Apple ditched the HomePod proper in March last year to focus on the mini model, which (presumably) enjoyed much stronger sales in the year since its October 2020 launch. So was surprising to hear that the original HomePod could be upgraded before the mini – although both devices now seem in line for a successor.

As mentioned, the HomePod 2 (or whatever Apple eventually calls it) is expected to arrive either late this year or early 2023.

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