Earlier this year we reported that Apple was working on a HomePod with a smart display in the top of the device – something that's been rumoured on and off since 2021. And now that very device has leaked. The image above was posted to X/Twitter by a user called Kosutami who, as MacRumors reports, has a good track record in leaking Apple products.
The first thing you'll notice about the leaked image is that the display is much bigger than the 3.5-inch touch panel (it's not a touchscreen; it's a panel with a few LEDs beneath it) in the current HomePod. It's hard to tell from the image but it's clearly significantly bigger; previous rumours suggested a seven-inch display and unless the new HomePod is absolutely massive this looks closer to five than the current three and a half.
Of all the things I'd like a new HomePod to include – more reliable streaming over AirPlay, less confusing multi-room controls and so on – a display is way down the list. So what will this touchscreen actually do?
What will the HomePod display do?
Reports suggest that the aim of the display is to show you notifications – presumably using similar widgets to the ones we're familiar with in the Apple Watch and iPhone 15 – and to show album art in apps such as Music and Podcasts. It looks like it probably has more in common with the iPhone 15 Standby mode or the Apple Watch interface than any of Apple's standard mobile displays. It also appears to be horizontal, which makes it of limited usefulness to show information unless you're right on top of it.
This clearly isn't the rumoured HomePod/Apple TV 4K mashup that has been previously predicted; the screen isn't big enough for that. But a display with some basic smart home hub controls is a likely bet, as Apple is reportedly refocusing on its smart home tech.
I do hope that in addition to sticking displays into speakers, Apple is also working on making its home tech work better. Siri remains slow and often terrible at voice recognition, and my HomePods and HomePods mini are still buggy, prone to dropped AirPlay connections and mysterious huffs when playing some songs directly from Apple Music. In my experience at least, Apple's famous "it just works" tagline doesn't always apply to its smart home kit.