Apple recently seeded iOS 16 beta to developers and beta testers and interestingly, the new beta update includes references to an unreleased HomePod model.
The tech giant launched the HomePod mini in 2020, two years after the releasing the original HomePod in 2018. Retailing at a much cheaper price than the original HomePod, the $99 HomePod mini is packed with new technology and capabilities that enabled Apple to finally capture a decent share of the smart speakers market. Maybe with another HomePod model, the tech giant wants to continue that momentum.
iOS 16 beta hints at an unreleased “AudioAccessory6” device
9to5Mac has discovered references to the new HomePod hidden in the latest iOS 16 beta. The unreleased HomePod is internally codenamed “AudioAccessory6”. As the current HomePod mini is labelled “AudioAccessory5” and the original HomePod is “AudioAccessory1”, it is assumed that the new audio accessory might be the next-generation HomePod model.
But, the references did not provide any other details regarding the design or technology of the new device.
Previously, Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple would launch a new HomePod later this year or early 2023 because smart speakers are an essential part of the home ecosystem. However, he stated that the new HomePod will not include “much innovation in hardware design”.
Earlier this year, Siri hinted at an HomePod model with a screen. In response to a user’s command on iOS 14.5 beta 1 and HomePod 15.3, Siri on HomePod said that answer is displayed on the screen.
That report corroborated a claim by Mark Gurman from Bloomberg that the tech giant Apple is developing new smart speaker models with screens and cameras but their launch isn’t imminent.”
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