As you know, Apple just discontinued the Apple HomePod. For three major reasons. It was too expensive, Siri wasn’t capable enough for most people just yet, and reason number three: The HomePod mini is a success. At 99$, it’s much more interesting to consumers that want a great-sounding, yet affordable smart speaker for the Apple eco-system. Now, a new HomePod device could be in the works: a HomePod Hub.
What’s a HomePod Hub?
This new device would essentially be a competitor to Google Nest Hub or Alexa Echo Show. Both of these smart speakers come with the usual smart assistant and audio features, plus a screen. Enter HomePod Hub.
Think HomePod meets iPad
If HomePod and iPad had a baby… that’s the idea behind HomePod Hub. Sticking an iPad on top of a HomePod. You laugh but these kinds of devices have been quite successful over the last few years. I often see them sitting on a kitchen countertop or a sideboard, functioning as the information hub for audio and visual queries and responses. A market that Apple still intends to enter more broadly, and frankly more successfully.
HomePod mini was the right second step after the “flop” of the original HomePod. A new Hub-version could be a good third move. At least in my opinion. A screen (with integrated cameras) offers plenty of new use cases for the HomePod line: Video FaceTime calls, Apple TV+ and other streaming platform support, visual feedback for Siri queries, integration to HomeKit devices like indoor and outdoor security cameras, doorbells, and much more.
The big question: the price
What will make or break this HomePod Hub is without a doubt the price. The cost was the problem of the original HomePod. I bet Apple is carefully considering this. The competitor products are fairly inexpensive. Apple will not undercut those. A sweet spot might be the price of the original HomePod at around 299$.
If and only if Apple comes up with enough great features that make use of the screen, this product might make sense. Apple Pencil support is another good feature request. Packing as many iPad features into this screen, bundled with all the capability of HomePod & Siri, that’s my wish for HomePod Hub. However, in the end, I believe that the masses still won’t be very interested in a new smart device by Apple. What do you think?