Apple’s smart device portfolio is rather slim, and riddled with weird decisions too. The HomePod smart speaker arrived with an eye-watering price tag, and not surprisingly, sales were below expectations, prompting Apple to discontinue it last week. The $99 HomePod Mini is equipped with a temperature and humidity sensor, but it hasn’t been enabled yet. And even though the HomeKit ecosystem supports a wide range of smart appliances, Apple itself hasn’t gone beyond smart speakers. But as per a fresh report by Bloomberg, Apple is working on smart displays too.
But before you get all excited, the report makes it clear that an Apple smart speaker armed with a camera and display is not arriving anytime soon. In fact, this is the first time we’re hearing about an Apple smart display being in development from a credible source. However, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Apple venture into this territory.
The road ahead won’t be an easy one for Apple
Looking over to the competition, Google launched the updated Nest Hub smart display – equipped with the Soli Radar sensor for sleep sensing – earlier this month. Amazon, on the other hand, has quite a diverse portfolio of such devices in its portfolio, which include the tiny Echo Show 5, the Echo Show 8 with an HD display, and the new Echo Show 10 that follows your movement and rotates the screen accordingly. Even Facebook has dipped its fingers in the segment with its own Portal and Portal Plus smart displays.
However, Apple’s entry into the smart display segment won’t be a cakewalk, as the company will have to ward off competition from the likes of Google, whose own smart display is priced rather competitively at just $99.99 and is deeply integrated with its ecosystem of hardware and services. Amazon, on the other hand, offers products across a wide price spectrum, starting as low as $69.99. For Apple to succeed, the company will either have to go aggressive with the pricing aspect, or stand out in terms of capabilities. And if the ‘failure’ of HomePod is anything to go by, the former seems to be the safer path.