Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman reported on Saturday about new iPad models coming this month, in addition to a new generation of the MacBook Pro expected to be introduced later this year. However, the journalist also revealed Apple’s plans to launch a new iPad docking accessory in 2023.
An iPad docking accessory for the home
In his “Power On” newsletter, Gurman said that Apple wants to push the iPad even further as a home accessory. Last year, the journalist reported that the company was working on a new product category that combines Apple TV, iPad, and HomePod features in a single device. The idea would be to create something that could compete with home devices like Amazon Echo Show.
While today’s Bloomberg report claims that Apple is still exploring the idea of combining an iPad with a speaker hub, it also says that the company now has another card up its sleeve to do so.
According to Gurman, Apple has also developed prototypes of an iPad docking accessory that would provide a similar experience, but without the need to create a product that can only stay in one place at home. Instead, users could simply attach their iPad to the accessory for a home hub experience. It would work quite similar to Google’s recently introduced Charging Speaker Dock for the Pixel Tablet.
Since creating entire new products from scratch can take a very long time, the iPad could be the company’s best bet in “making some noise in the smart-home space,” the report adds. The journalist heard from sources that the new accessory might be introduced “as soon as 2023.”
A strong home strategy to compete with Amazon
Amazon is known for offering different smart home accessories, including a variety of Echo devices with the built-in Alexa virtual assistant. Apple has Apple TV and the HomePod, which aren’t exactly a hit. When it comes to the HomePod, the company has discontinued the original model in favor of the more affordable HomePod mini.
Gurman’s report notes that Apple is still working on a new HomePod model that is larger than the mini version. Earlier this year, 9to5Mac found references to an unreleased HomePod model in the iOS 16 beta code, which corroborates these rumors.
All this combined with the idea of a home hub accessory plus the HomeKit and the launch of the Matter standard show that Apple really wants to have a strong home products strategy to compete with Amazon, Google, and other companies.
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