Apple's presence in the smart home space has been somewhat less impactful than that of Google or Amazon, but the Cupertino giant may not be ready to give up just yet. According to a new report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple is working two new smart home devices - one being a TV box with a microphone and camera built-in and the other being a smart display.
The TV box could be comparable to something like Facebook's Portal TV, which is also a small TV-connected device with a microphone and camera designed for video chat and meetings. Of course, in the case of an Apple device, you'd get access to the Apple TV experience along with that, so services like Apple TV+, Apple Fitness+, and so on would be available as well. The microphone could also be used with Siri, making it another access point for voice commands and smart home features.
Smart displays, on the other hand, are a bit more common, with devices like the Nest Hub from Google, Amazon's Echo Show, or Facebook's Portal already crowding the space. Bloomberg describes the device as a combination of an iPad with a HomePod speaker, with one potential concept having the display portion move on a robotic arm to follow the user and keep the screen visible.
Apple's initial run at a smart speaker didn't do as well as some would have expected. The HomePod saw little demand, with reports claiming that the company had to cut orders for the device. A year later, the HomePod got a permanent price cut, and eventually, it was discontinued altogether earlier this year. However, Apple has come around with a cheaper HomePod Mini, which comes in at $99 and offers a lot of the same capabilities, and it would seem that device is doing better sales-wise.
Of course, Apple may have a more challenging hurdle to overcome, which is the lack of smart home integrations with its HomeKit platform. While some devices do work with it, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa have much broader support, making smart home devices more viable. It remains to be seen if the Cupertino giant manages to turn that around.