In January, Gurman predicts in his PowerOn newsletter that the HomePod successor won’t offer “anything revolutionary.” Not much is known about its design, but given Apple’s history, expect more or less the same form factor as the first-gen barrell-shaped HomePod speaker. Apple just might surprise with more jazzy color options this time around, just like with the HomePod mini, which got a peppy makeover in 2021.
The only major rumored change is reportedly up top, where the touch-sensitive area for gestures will be replaced with an “updated control panel” (via Bloomberg). It’s unclear if Apple is going to add on a small touch-sensitive screen for Siri interactions, or if the HomePod will feature touch-sensitive area with halo lighting underneath. Beneath the cylindrical chassis, Apple is swapping the A8 chip inside the original model with the in-house S8 chip for the second-gen trim. This is the same chip that Apple has fitted inside its current-gen Apple Watch.
The most promising bit of information from Gurman is that customers should expect a lower price. The original HomePod started at $349, and it failed to make the kind of market splash that Apple made with products like its AirPods. In his review of the first-gen HomePod, SlashGear’s Chris Davies called it “an astonishingly good speaker,” but expressed disappointment with the capabilities centered around Siri. Hopefully, the status quo has changed this time around.