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Apple HomePod with an iPad-Like Touchscreen Spotted

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Before a HomePod with a circular display arrived on the scene, an Apple HomePod speaker with a tablet-sized display was speculated first. However, developments surrounding this tablet-speaker hybrid did not materialize further and seemingly died out, suggesting that a regular HomePod entry is more likely to happen. To make matters more puzzling, a new discovering shed light on the possibility of a HomePod 3 with a larger display.

HomePod 3rd gen to get a display and A15 Bionic processor?

As discovered by 9to5Mac from the codes of the recent tvOS 17.4 beta 3 firmware, Apple does seem to be testing an unknown device bearing the codename “Z314”. There is no clue as to what the device’s form factor is, but the outlet speculated it runs on HomePod OS which is still based on tvOS. On that note, it is possible the device could be an unreleased HomePod speaker.

Even so, it seems the device in question is equipped with Apple’s A15 Bionic chipset, which is the same SoC that powers the 8-inch iPad Mini (review). However, the device could also end up as an upcoming Apple TV model given the current Apple TV 4K is powered by an A15 Bionic chipset.

Google Pixel Tablet
With a magnetic docking system, it’s effortless to attach and detach the Pixel Tablet from the speaker dock. / © nextpit

Then again, the idea of an Apple TV is contradicted by the fact that Apple added a SwiftUI framework to the HomePod firmware which is used to build interfaces on Apple’s different platforms. This lends credence that Apple could be testing a HomePod OS interface on a full-fledged display. Hence, it is safe to say the device could be comparable to the form factor of Amazon’s Echo Show or one with a detachable tablet like with Google’s Pixel Tablet (review).

Leaked image of the Apple HomePod 3rd generation on the table
Is this the Apple HomePod 3rd Gen. in all its glory? / © Apple | Kosutami | edit by Adobe KI

Of course, the new finding doesn’t eliminate the idea that a HomePod with a functional top display exists. The device in question above may even refer to this modified HomePod 2nd gen speaker with a touch display that was spotted in the wild. Who knows for sure, really?

Regardless, Apple is believed to be preparing a refresh for its smart home speaker lineup this year, so we do not need to wait too long to find out which HomePod will be announced first.

Which one do you think it is? Do you find a speaker with a tablet better than a HomePod with a miniature touchscreen? Hit us with your answers in the comments.

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