Given the amount of rumors and leaks we’ve seen about it, it seems likely that Apple is considering launching a smart display based on the HomePod speaker – and that display could well end up being an iPad mini.
The team of 9to5Mac dug into the code for tvOS 17.2 beta and found something interesting: the software has been updated to add support for the iPad mini 6 that Apple launched in 2021.
Keeping in mind that the HomePod and the HomePod mini run on a modified version of tvOS, it’s fair to assume that Apple wants to explore the idea of launching a HomePod smart display with a decent-sized screen attached to it.
What makes the idea even more credible is that rumors of a HomePod-plus-iPad have been circulating for more than a year, coming from some of the most trusted Apple tipsters in the industry.
At this stage it is worth remembering that even if Apple tries the iPad mini as a HomePod attachment, there is no guarantee that we will end up with a real product in this sense – business plans and market conditions are constantly changing.
In recent days we’ve also seen what is apparently a prototype HomePod with a small integrated display at the top. It’s possible that Apple is experimenting with more than one different form factor for its upcoming smart display.
It makes sense that tvOS is the software running on this smart display, since it’s already used on the HomePod. If we can believe the rumors from the beginning of this year, smart home functions would be central.
Apple could follow the approach taken by the Google Pixel Tablet and its dock, and create a smart display that you can pair with a speaker or carry around with you; or it could copy the Amazon Echo Show 10 with a screen that swivels. Time will tell.