Sources suggest that Apple could come up with a cheaper iPad next year. It would help operate various smart home devices. It is expected to be a wall-mountable device. Magnetic fasteners could be used to mount it on the wall. As per reports, it could help with playing videos, taking FaceTime calls, and controlling lights.
Why this step?
This step is being taken by Apple to compete with devices by other companies like Amazon and Google, which already have smart displays like Echo Show and Nest Hub Max.
People who want to have a smart home environment could do so using any iPad available on the market. However, they need to pay a premium price for the same. Understandably, Apple recognized the demand for such devices in the last few years and is planning to bring something affordable. Apple would continue to provide its current services whether or not the budget device sees the light of day.
The addition of a speaker is highly suggested. Apple may come with a stand customized for the device. Rather than launching a HomePod with a display, it would be cost-effective to launch a newer variation of the iPad.
Availability of more information
More information if any is expected to be released during the WWDC 2023 event in June. Getting a screen would imply that the feature to watch videos would be bundled for the customers. However, it would be interesting to know how this rumored iPad would function considering its use is extended to manage other devices as well.
Apple introduced the new HomePod and the new M2 Pro Macs recently. The company is not focussing on bringing more devices into the smart home market.