Apple's next HomePod surprise might be an Echo Show rival

It's been a day of interesting reports surrounding Apple's HomePod. Earlier today, we learned that there's a secret sensor hiding in the HomePod mini, and while that sensor may not be active right now, it could enable specific functionality in the future. Not only that, but there's also whispers of Apple's plans for the future of the HomePod line, and we could see the company launch something meant to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Echo Show.

All of this information stems from the same Bloomberg report, which primarily covers that sensor hidden within the HomePod mini. While that might sound like something sinister, this inactive sensor is actually intended to measure temperature and humidity, which could mean that one day Apple will switch on the sensor in an effort to bolster the HomePod mini's smart home offerings.

At the end of Bloomberg's report, however, we hear about where Apple's future HomePod plans may be focused. According to that report, Apple has been developing new HomePod speakers that house screens and cameras, though it sounds like such a speaker could still be a long way off as Bloomberg says that "launch isn't imminent."

Apple could be thinking that developing a HomePod with the functionality of a smart display could be a good move here in this pandemic world we've landed in. We've seen a number of companies launch smart displays of their own in recent years, so there's certainly some precedent there and Apple could view it as a new segment in which to make some cash.

Unfortunately, Bloomberg's report doesn't tell us anything else about such a speaker, though it does say that Apple was working on a 2022 successor to the original HomePod before it made the decision to can the product and discontinue the full-size speaker earlier this month. We'll see where this report leads – if it leads anywhere at all – but given the language of Bloomberg's reporting, it sounds like we could be waiting a long time before this display-equipped HomePod sees the light of day.