Apple's next-gen Mac monitor could control your smart home too

Mike Wheatley

Apple is reportedly working on a number of new monitors, including one model that may act as a smart home display, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported in his latest Power On newsletter.


The iPhone maker already sells a couple of monitors, including the Studio Display and the Pro Display XDR 6K, which are multipurpose displays. They’re decent options, with surprisingly low prices for Apple devices, and they come with high resolution and brightness and a built-in webcam. But neither of those monitors are designed for smart home management, which is said to be a key capability of Apple’s upcoming device.

The Studio Display and Pro Display XDR are both fitted with traditional LCD display panels and are offered with or without LED local dimming. Apple has already said it will switch to OLED display for its Mac computers and iPad tablets in the next couple of years. As a result, there has been some speculation that its new monitors may also incorporate OLED displays.

Gurman didn’t address that question in his newsletter, simply saying that the company is working on multiple next-generation monitors.

What he did say is that one of them will be a “large-screen panel with an iOS chip and software stack”. According to Gurman, that implies it could serve multiple purposes, such as a monitor for a Mac notebook or a dedicated smart home display with a low-power mode.

In other words, the monitor will be able to do things as a standalone device, even without a computer connected to it. It could perhaps even serve as a viable replacement for a very basic computer. Other companies have tried to do something similar. For instance, Samsung launched its M8 Smart Monitor with built-in video streaming capabilities and screen casting, making it act much like a TV. We’ve also seen Google’s new Pixel Tablet, which can act as a regular tablet or be docked with a computer to act as a smart display.

Apple’s Studio Dispay also uses an iPhone chipset, the A13 Bionic that powers the iPhone 11 model. However, it doesn’t do a whole lot apart from controlling Siri and enhancing spatial audio.

The mention of a “low-power mode” suggests that Apple’s new monitor could use technology similar to what powers the iPhone 14’s Always-On display. That feature allows the iPhone to display basic information such as the time, notifications and various other widgets when it is idle, keeping energy consumption to an absolute minimum with reduced brightness and a low refresh rate.


Gurman said Apple’s new smart home display/monitor combo probably won’t arrive until “next year at the very earliest”, meaning that it’s likely still under development. So there could well be some additional features or capabilities not mentioned by Gurman that appear in the final product.

Apple traditionally hosts a dedicated event in the spring, as well as its WWDC event each summer, so we could well see something appear then.

If you're interested in Apple's hardware, check out our review of the Apple Pro Display XDR 6K from a few years back: