The Apple TV 4K successor could incorporate a video camera and a HomePod speaker

Apple TV 4K (2021)
(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Apple TV 4K could one day be replaced by something totally new and different: a hybrid Apple TV and HomePod streaming device that has a built-in camera for FaceTime.

That was the rumor that was circulating a few months ago and has re-emerged in a new report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. 

According to Gurman’s reporting in a recent PowerOn newsletter, he’s expecting “a device that combines a HomePod, Apple TV and FaceTime camera … [that] will probably be at the center of Apple's approach, with HomePod minis surrounding that throughout the home.”

Gurman doesn’t say how soon we can expect the device to be revealed by Apple but has mentioned this device in past reports and it appears to still be in the works.

Analysis: Didn’t Meta try this already? 

If this sounds like a device you’ve already seen before, it might be because you’re thinking of the Facebook Portal TV from Meta that allows you to make calls through popular apps like Messenger and access streaming services like Netflix.

Based on what we know so far, it sounds very similar to what Gurman is claiming the next Apple TV device will be like.

Where there’s an obvious difference between the two is on the audio side of things. The HomePod was known as a surprisingly solid speaker with a wide soundstage and good imaging. On the other hand, the Portal devices use your TV’s audio rather than its own built-in speaker - which means the Apple device is likely to sound better.

Meta also doesn’t have much of a background in streaming video or music - two areas that Apple has dominated for the last decade and has been in for 20 years.

That’s not to say Apple’s device is going to be a sure-fire hit with the audiovisual crowd - the camera will certainly have the most security-conscious among us concerned - but such a device does hold the potential to be an elevated version of what Meta tried to do with Portal. If it exists at all, of course.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.