tvOS 17.4 Allegedly Hints at HomePod With Display

The tvOS 17.4 beta that was released today contains code that references a future HomePod with a display, according to 9to5Mac. The site claims that there is evidence of a device with a “Z314” identifier with an A15 chip inside, with both production and “internal” versions of the device being tested by Apple.

Based on our findings, the unreleased “Z314” device is powered by an A15 Bionic chip, which interestingly is the same as the iPad mini 6. Code reveals that there are internal development and also production versions of this product under test, which suggests that it may have reached an advanced stage of development.

The latest beta also reportedly adds SwiftUI frameworks to the ‌HomePod‌ firmware to support a ‌HomePod‌ with a display.

We’ve heard multiple rumors about a ‌HomePod‌ with a touchscreen display from reliable sources. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in March 2023 that there was a ‌HomePod‌ with a 7-inch display in development, and in October 2023, leaker Kosutami said the next-generation ‌HomePod‌ would have a design similar to the current model but with a large LCD touch screen at the top instead of an LED array.

HomePods to date have been equipped with the same chips that Apple uses in the Apple Watch rather than the A-series chips used in Apple devices, so 9to5Mac‘s finding of an A15 Bionic mention could reflect a shift. The S9 chip in the Apple Watch Series 9 is, however, based on the A15 Bionic, and so that would also make sense for a new ‌HomePod‌.

In 2023, Kuo claimed that the ‌HomePod‌ with display would launch in the first half of 2024, but we have not heard additional release details since then. It is not yet clear when the device might come out, but Apple is planning to debut new iPads and Macs around the March timeframe, so we might also see a new ‌HomePod‌ at that time.

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