Would you buy an Apple TV/HomePod Frankenstein device? According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has one in the works.
"The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters."
Never one to underestimate Apple's ability to take an idea that, on the face of it, seems stupid and irrational and turn it into a multibillion-dollar craze, but this feels a bit weird even for Apple.
First off, both the HomePod and the Apple TV haven't set the world alight. Last month saw Apple pull the plug on the HomePod, and the Apple TV hasn't had a refresh in over three years.
That tells you a lot about the position of these devices in Apple's ecosystem.
I'm also not sure about the functionality of such a device. Are people going to replace their TV sound system (or the built-in speakers) with something that's a fusion of an Apple TV and a HomePod? Maybe a pair of speakers, but that's something different again.
Smashing together two ideas that have had a lukewarm reception and adding a FaceTime camera doesn't feel like a recipe for huge success.
Gurman also brings up a HomePod/iPad hybrid too. This would create a competitor for the likes of Amazon's Echo Show. I don't know, the idea of adding a screen to the HomePod would be pretty much an admission that Siri is not up to the task. Also, Apple's focus is on selling high-value devices with displays (iPhones, iPads, and Macs), and the idea of "cheap" displays taking over from those again doesn't feel congruent with Apple.
What do you think? Is there merit in these hybrid devices, or should these never Frankenstein devices from Apple's R&D lab never see light of day?