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Next-gen Apple HomePod may launch with a built-in 7-inch display in 2024

The APple HomePod 2

Apple is currently working on a version of its HomePod smart speaker that will have a built-in 7-inch display panel, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The revamped smart speaker is expected to arrive sometime in the first half of 2024. This also strengthens previous claims from Mark Gurman (paywalled) of a display-fitted Apple speaker in the making.

As per his latest Medium post, Chinese display manufacturer Tianma would step into Apple's supply chain for the first time and become "a new beneficiary of Apple’s revamped smart home strategy." He predicted that the company will be the exclusive panel supplier for the upcoming smart speaker.

The new display-based HomePod "could enable tighter integration with Apple’s other hardware products, marking a significant shift in the company’s smart home strategy," according to Kuo. This would also put Apple in line with other big names, including Google and Amazon, who already have display-fitted smart speakers on the market.

The analyst said that Tianma, which already has a stronghold in Android smartphone panel production, could follow a path similar to BYD and BOE. It could start "with low-end products and gradually increasing its shipment allocation, and obtaining higher-end products through technology capacity upgrades." The company might even grab iPad panel orders from Apple if the shipment goes well.

Until now, Apple has released three HomePod-branded speakers on the market. The company discontinued the original HomePod in March 2021 but it sells the second-gen HomePod and HomePod mini for $299 and $99 respectively.

Source: Ming-Chi Kuo

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