HomePod mini will have Apple’s proprietary U1 chip, says leaker

A new leak has turned up that suggests the rumored HomePod mini will sport Apple’s proprietary U1 (Ultra Wide-band) chip.

Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has tweeted out information saying that the HomePod mini will be a Ultra Wide-Band hub in disguise.

What it means is a bit unclear right now. Apple started including its proprietary U1 chip in the iPhone 11 lineup. And the only thing it is useful for right now is locating nearby AirDrop devices while pointing in their direction. That chip is expected to end up in many more Apple products.

It is also expected that Apple’s upcoming AirPods Studio headphones will sport Ultra Wide-Band. It will be used for determining the left and right ear positioning. However, there’s some speculation that the U1 chip in there could be used for more than that.

Prosser says that the HomePod mini “will serve as a UWB hub in home, to interact with other UWB powered devices in your house.”

Apple also included the U1 chip in its latest Apple Watch Series 6. The increasing roster of devices getting U1 chips means they will be able to interact with each other much better.

Prosser notes that UWB is “just as important as WiFi and Bluetooth. Not only is it incredibly accurate for location tracking, but it’s also super fast for data transfer.”

Ultra Wide-Band is a low-energy, short-range radio technology that is usually used for wireless transmission.

The HomePod mini is expected to feature an S5 processor and have a height of 3.3-inches. It is also expected to cost $99.

Moreover, it’s expected that Apple will launch the HomePod mini alongside new iPhones at its October 13 event. But they’ll only become available starting November 16-17.