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Apple has been rumored to release a new HomePod with a display for almost a year. Now, new evidence has reportedly emerged that development is at an advanced stage on Apple’s software. Just months after the tech giant launched the second-generation HomePod in January 2023, reports of a display-equipped speaker similar to the Amazon Echo Show have started circulating. This audio product is said to be equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen display that can function as an entertainment system as well as an interface for video calls.

The hint came from code within the tvOS 17.4 beta 3 update released on Tuesday (February 13). 9to5Google discovered the existence of an unnamed device registered as Z314 that is capable of running the OS mentioned in the update code string. The new device is said to run on the A15 Bionic chipset. The publication also discovered that a production version of the device is in testing and development is ongoing. This could mean that any products referenced in the code are likely to go into production soon.

At first glance, all of this may seem like unrelated information, but the report claims it points to a new HomePod with a connected display. tvOS runs on both Apple TV and HomePod, so this device will most likely refer to one of the two devices. However, none of these require the A15 Bionic chipset. Previous reports highlighted that Apple may be testing tvOS 17 on the iPad mini 6 as a display companion to the HomePod. For reference, the iPad Mini 6 is powered by the A15 Bionic chipset.

Apart from this, there were additional hints pointing to a new HomePod. According to the report, this update adds the SwiftUI framework to the HomePod firmware. SwiftUI is a user interface framework for building user interfaces for Apple operating systems. HangTracer, a system for debugging unresponsive UI, has also been added. The report notes that if Apple doesn’t plan to add a display interface, the HomePod won’t need these additions.

In March 2023, tipster Ming-Chi Kuo first mentioned that a HomePod with a display might be in development. He emphasized that the new product could feature a 7-inch display and could be released in the first half of 2024. Tianma Microelectronics, an electronics technology company that supplies displays to other companies, is reportedly the exclusive panel supplier for Apple’s redesigned HomePod. More details about the smart speaker, which is said to have a built-in display, are expected in the coming months.

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