Apple Exploring Futuristic HomePod With Detachable iPad-Like Screen

Apple may be cooking up a radically reinvented HomePod smart speaker with a bold new design – one featuring a removable touchscreen display reminiscent of an iPad mini.

Renowned Apple insider Mark Gurman revealed the company has a version of HomePod in early development sporting an iPad-like panel. It’s even expected to magnetically attach to walls for use as a wall-mounted smart display.

Gurman stresses this is very preliminary work, with no launch likely before 2025 at the soonest if Apple ultimately approves production. But the concept offers a glimpse into Apple’s vision for the next era of its Siri-powered home assistant device.

Rumors first percolated about adding visual capabilities to HomePod after noted leaker Majin Bu claimed to see a prototype with a curved top display. Gurman’s latest scoop corroborates Apple is indeed experimenting with more advanced models.

The appeal is obvious – it transforms HomePod into an Echo Show-like device but with Apple’s trademark slick design and premium materials. Viewing photos, watching video calls, glancing at reminders and more become possible beyond just voice commands.

And if the detachable touchscreen functions as a standalone iPad mini of sorts, uses explode even further. HomePod morphs into a Versatile hub powering a futuristic smart home ecosystem.

It’s early innings for such an ambitious project, though. Between honing the complex engineering to nail down prices and functionality, Apple has its work cut out if it wants to unveil such an envelope-pushing take on HomePod within the next couple years. But given Apple’s penchant for innovation, this one may just might be in the cards.