Apple is making quite the push into the smart home space. In addition to the Matter-equipped HomePod, the iPhone maker has a slew of other such devices in the pipeline. This includes a “tablet product” among them that will be the first of its smart display push.
Bloomberg reports that this will “essentially be a low-end iPad”. It can still be used to control your other smart home gear like lights, as well as play videos and let you do FaceTime chats. It will also come with magnet fasteners so you can mount it on a wall, or presumably a fridge. On the flip side though, it’s unclear what sort of functionality it will lack compared to a more conventional Apple tablet, or even what it can do that the average iPad cannot to lean more into the smart home space. On a related note, the company has also considered making larger smart home displays.
Beyond the magnetic mounts though, this is not exactly a new idea that Apple is working with. Apple was already looking at the possibility of a device that combines an iPad and a speaker hub that you can put on, say, a kitchen counter or nightstand. It would be later that the company started working on an iPad docking accessory that is meant to achieve the same thing. And judging from this most recent report, it doesn’t look like the fruit company is giving up either to focus on the other.
With that being said, it looks like it will be quite awhile before any of these hit store shelves. The report says that Apple has had to push back the development schedule of the smart displays. As a result of that, these won’t be launching “until next year at the earliest”. No mention on the docking accessory for the iPads though.