Apple has been lagging behind in the field of smart homes, but new multi-functional devices in early development may change this.

People familiar with the matter said the company is developing a product that will combine Apple TV set-top boxes and HomePod speakers, and include a camera for video conferencing through connected TVs and other smart home features. Be determined discuss internal affairs.

Other features of the device will include standard Apple TV box features, such as watching videos and games, as well as using smart speakers (such as playing music) and using Apple’s Siri digital assistant. If launched, it will represent Apple’s most ambitious smart home hardware product to date.

People familiar with the matter said the Cupertino, California-based technology giant is also considering launching high-end speakers with touch screens to better compete with market leaders Google and Amazon. This device combines an iPad with HomePod speakers and also includes a camera for video chat. Apple has explored ways to connect the iPad to the speaker using a robotic arm that can be moved to follow users around the room, similar to Amazon’s latest Echo Show gadget.

The development of the two Apple products is still in the early stages, and the company may decide not to release any products or change key features. The company often worked on the development of new concepts and new equipment without finally delivering them. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment.

These new products may help revive Apple’s fate in the field of smart home. According to Strategy Analytics, the company will occupy 2% of the TV streaming media device market by 2020, and HomePod will only account for less than 10% of the smart speaker market in most markets.

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In March of this year, Apple stopped production of its high-end HomePod, and the Apple TV box has been updated for more than three years. Last year, the company launched the HomePod mini, performed better due to its lower price.

Apple merged its HomePod and Apple TV engineering teams in 2020, and unified the basic software that runs on these two devices. This is an early hint that Apple may finally integrate its hardware product line.

Apple held a virtual event to release 5G iPhone models
On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, the Apple HomePod mini speaker was unveiled at a virtual product launch event on a portable computer in Tiskilwa, Illinois, USA. Apple Inc. showcased four redesigned iPhone gadgets with 5G capabilities, upgraded cameras and faster processors. , And a wider range of screen sizes.
The combination of speakers and TV boxes is not a product category that Google and Amazon take seriously, although Facebook sells Portal video chat devices that use TVs as displays, while Amazon sells Fire TV Cube boxes with small speakers. However, Amazon is indeed ahead of the Smart Displays category, which term refers to smart speakers with screens.

With the launch of the original Echo Show, Amazon first popularized smart speakers with screens in 2017. Alphabet’s Google offers 7-inch and 10-inch versions of the Nest Hub, which can pair Google Assistant with speakers and screens. Amazon is also developing a new speaker with a user wall screen that can be used as a smart home hub. In March, Bloomberg reported that Apple was exploring new smart speakers with displays and cameras.

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2020 CES memorabilia

Apple’s HomeKit software-allows third-party devices to be controlled by iPhone devices, iPad models and HomePods through apps or Siri, and it supports fewer products than Amazon and Google’s competitors. The new Apple devices will not change individually, but they can provide Apple and its potential partners with new reasons to invest in a larger Apple smart home ecosystem.

Copyright ©2021 Bloomberg LP

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