Apple HomePod with a screen: rumoured release date, spec leaks and more

A mockup of how HomePod OS might look
(Image credit: 9to5mac, Apple)

A new HomePod smart speaker is rumoured to be on the way. But unlike the HomePod 2 and HomePod Mini, this one is said to have a screen, expanding its functionality considerably.

This isn't mere hearsay. Credible Apple watchers have weighed in, giving their predictions on when they reckon we'll see the device and what it will offer. And if they're correct, it might be just days away...

HomePod with a screen: rumoured release date

Apple HomePod 2 seen from above on a TV cabinet

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

The HomePod with a screen could launch very soon indeed. A beta version of tvOS 17.4 contained references to homeOS, thought to be a new operating system for the new breed of HomePod. We're expecting to see tvOS 17.4 launch alongside iOS 17.4 before the end of March.

New iPads are rumoured to launch soon too, which could arrive alongside the new HomePod. In some years, Apple has held a spring event to announce new products. Apple chose not to do so for the MacBook laptops it announced recently, but new iPads and a new HomePod could warrant a glitzy event to show off the new features.

However, one analyst reckons the HomePod with a screen is a way off yet. In a February 2024 edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman predicted the device won't launch until 2025 at the earliest. So we might still have a while to wait...

HomePod with a screen: price prediction

Here, a lot depends on how the screen is implemented. If – as some analysts think – it has a 7-inch screen, the price could be substantially higher than a standard HomePod. But if the screen ends up as a small display on the top end of the device (where the volume controls and Siri animation reside on the HomePod 2), its price might not be much different to the HomePods currently available.

The HomePod 2 retails for £299 / $299 / AU$479, while the HomePod Mini costs £99 / $99 / AU$149. Our guess? The HomePod with a screen will cost at least as much as the HomePod 2.

HomePod with a screen: features rumours

HomePod Mini with its top panel glowing blue when Siri is activated

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Here's where things get a little murky. No one can agree upon what exactly the HomePod with a screen will be like.

The first mention of such a device came back in 2021, when Mark Gurman wrote that Apple was considering combining the HomePod and Apple TV into a device for video calls. 

But the first major rumour came from noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said in March 2023 that Apple was working on a HomePod with a 7-inch screen. That would make it essentially an iPad with better speakers, which would serve as a rival to the Google Nest Hub and Amazon Echo Show. Like those devices, it was predicted that the new HomePod would function as a smart home hub – basically a way to control your smart home devices without taking out your phone.

Others are less sure. Mark Gurman says Apple has come up with all sorts of different ways of giving the HomePod a screen, including a turducken-style combination of some of Apple's most-loved products. "There was a device that would combine the Apple TV, FaceTime and HomePod in one system, as well as a HomePod with a screen that swivels like a robotic arm," Gurman wrote. "Apple also has explored making iPad-like smart displays that could be magnetically attached to a wall."

The closest we've seen to that is the Amazon Echo Show 15 (which is huge), or the business-focussed Microsoft Surface Hub. But if Apple went down this route, the device would look more like an iPad than a HomePod with a screen. We're not convinced.

What's more likely is a device more like the Amazon Echo Show 8, which is very much a speaker with a screen (as opposed to a tablet with better speakers). Yes, you can watch TV shows and films on it, but its screen is primarily used as a way to see notifications, navigate the menu and conduct video calls. We're confident Apple would take a similar approach.

Others think the screen will be less prominent. A now-deleted tweet from a Twitter account called Kosutami revealed a 'prototype' HomePod with a different type of glass on the top that can work as a touchscreen. The fact this tweet was since deleted raises doubts, though 9to5Mac claims its sources confirmed the photos were legitimate.

The HomePod with a screen is rumoured to run homeOS, a new operating system that combines the Apple TV's tvOS platform with HomePod-specific software. As the name suggests, it will be very much focussed on the home, so expect voice controls to feature heavily, giving you the ability to control other smart speakers in your home, hands-free. The original HomePod ran a modified version of the iPhone's iOS 11 when it launched, but Apple since switched it to tvOS.

Apple mentioned homeOS in a couple of job adverts in 2021, but hasn't used the term since.

One other feature we could see on the HomePod with a screen is SharePlay, which lets you stream movies and music with whoever you're on a FaceTime call with. SharePlay was recently added to the tvOS 17.4 beta. Once you scan a QR code on the Apple Music app on the Apple TV, you can start a SharePlay session.

HomePod with a screen: name

Which just leaves the question of name. What would Apple call this thing?

HomePod with a screen seems a bit clunky. There's every chance Apple could just call it HomePod 3, as it would be the third generation of the full-size HomePod (especially if it continues to sell the HomePod 2). If it got bigger than the standard model because of the display, maybe HomePod Max (it's likely to steer away from the 'Pro' moniker as it would be a home-focussed device). Or maybe HomePod View to emphasise the fact it has a screen.

HomePod with a screen: early verdict

At the moment, a lot is still up in the air. Will we see the HomePod with a screen next week or next year? Will it boast a 7-inch iPad Mini-style display, or just turn the existing top panel into a touch-sensitive screen? Will it offer Apple TV functionality? Album art? A way to FaceTime from the kitchen without reaching for your iPhone or iPad?

What we do know is that a HomePod with a screen is an exciting prospect, especially if it can maintain – or even improve upon – the sound quality that has made every HomePod speaker so far a great buy.

We'll update this page as new rumours emerge.


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Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.