Apple strategy in 'smart home' race threatened by Amazon

Apple’s strategy all along was to keep users in a closed echosystem so it will generate more revenue for Apple on overpriced components. While Apple was at the forefront of technology years ago, it’s now lagging behind. And you can see that in their market share (12.9% vs 86.2% and dropping).
Also remember that in 1997 Apple was in deep financial trouble and it was saved by $150 million investment from Microsoft.
Apple is not threatened by Amazon but by itself.


Actually Apple could still pull off an interesting feat. Unlike SmartThings, which has some hundreds of thousands of sales, Apple’s installed base is measured in hundreds of millions. I’ve not explored HomeKit at all, but if it’s well executed and natural and easy to configure it can quickly outstrip something like SmartThings from a sheer home automation standpoint.

But voice control? IMO that’s where Amazon made the genius move. Voice control is clunky when tethered to a phone or tablet; voice control is liberating when your device is always listening by default and can hear you clearly from across the room. For Apple to make inroads there, they will have to introduce their own voice controlled speaker. And for that to be successful, it will (given amazon’s long head start) have to bring some new magic to the scenario without costing a fortune.

What are you refering to? If homekit, then it only hundreds.

When it comes to the home automation market, the biggest threat to Apple is Apple’s approach to the home automation market.


Just one article regarding Homekit And here is a part from it.

According to Apple, there are only 18 companies currently certified to make HomeKit devices. Among those 18, a total of 48 products have become available for purchase, and many of those products are very similar to one other.

A quick Amazon search for Apple HomeKit returns just 202 results – hardly diverse enough to meet consumer needs when it comes to something as wide-reaching and customizable as home automation. So, it seems that Apple may be slowly changing its ways, by taking a

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There are hundreds of millions of Apple products in circulation, and the company has a somewhat loyal following. Of those products, millions of iPads and iPhones are of late enough model to support basic HomeKit interactive control without needing to purchase any other Apple device (such as AppleTV, though many Apple fans will buy the newest anyway). Like it or not, that installed base is a market advantage. They don’t have to go purchase a smart hub to get their interactive controls going… though you do need that AppleTV if you want to run the sort of unattended automations we all are used to.

If you re not already hooked in to a particular automation environment such as ST, it would be natural to look at something like HomeKit.

The Entrepeneur article you linked is interesting. I can see two problems right away with it:
a) it was published virtually a day before the $50 Dot came onto the market (lol), so it anticipates, but misses, the thing that really put Alexa on the map this autumn
b) it looks at google face recognition as a means of home control.

Of those, (b) is the more problematic. Indeed facial recognition will be great for security, as is any biometric system. But the magic of voice control is that you are not stuck in one spot AND you are not toting a device around with you. You are simply talking into the air, as you would with someone else in the home, and the home is responding to you. If I have to have a camera read my face before the system does anything, I might as well be typing on an iPad. Which is NOT what I want to be doing while changing the baby’s diaper or cleaning out the cupboard.


It’s always good to look at available options and see whatever best suits you. But comparing Apple’s installed base for all it’s devices versus just ST is definitely wrong,
The point I’m trying to make is that Apple is not the same innovative company it once was. Lately it’s just trying to play catch-up and trying to make more money by suing everybody else (latest In wake of Nokia lawsuit, Apple promptly removes Withings products from its stores) and loosing. They’re also pulling out of network bussiness Apple reportedly won’t make AirPort WiFi routers anymore | TechCrunch
Here is another article for your reading Apple is screwing up HomeKit; here’s how they can fix it | TechCrunch
However, it looks like this is becoming like a pissing contest and I don’t want to go that way.
Have a nice day.

I do t think anyone is personally attacking you. They are just sharing their opinions and that’s why it’s interesting. It doesn’t take much to have a misunderstanding. Pretty sure most of us are posting with respect.

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I did’t think or said that. I was just referring to misrepresentation of facts (numbers in this case).
i believe that when looking at technoligies yo should first find out if it does what you want/need. Then you could also look at the rest of the factors(market penetration, developer support, interoperability, products available, and so on).

That’s what I also believe. Whatever I post is based on facts, or in this case on research done by people more competent then myself.

As the old saying goes, “all home automation is local.” :sunglasses:

Most people don’t need hundreds of home automation devices to choose from. They need a light switch, a plug-in pocket socket, a white smart bulb, an RGBW smart bulb, A thermostat, a motion sensor, a contact sensor, a door lock, a voice UI, and the ability to schedule all of those by time, temperature, light level, sensor triggers, and geopresence. And not everyone needs all of that.

Yes, there are a whole lot of other devices that are nice to have, or that might even be considered essential for some people, but as far as selling to millions, you don’t need that many devices. They do, however, need to be reliable, be pretty easy to set up, and have value once they are set up.

In these forums, it’s easy to forget that the entire DIY home automation market is only a small percentage of installed home automation systems. There are literally millions more people today using home automation that they got from ADT or Time Warner or Xfinity with a monthly contract than are using SmartThings plus wink plus homeseer plus vera plus Insteon combined. At CES 2017, the Z wave alliance representative said that 2/3 of Zwave devices are professionally installed.

If you don’t need stacked conditionals, and you just want to control your lights by a combination of separate rules for time schedule, Geopresence, voice control, and a few motion sensors, HomeKit works just fine. It’s a very low maintenance system, it runs locally except for the voice piece, it’s intuitive, and most of the same devices can also be controlled by echo, which is what we do at my house.

It’s not a very smart system, but it’s better than not having automation, and there’s a lot to be said for low maintenance. :sunglasses:

Obviously as a limited feature system there’s no way that homekit can compete with what SmartThings can do. And the device choice is limited. But this isn’t a winner take all situation. Different people will need different things, and homekit right now is a good choice for a lot of people. HomeKit combined with Alexa is an even better choice for many people, and fortunately many of the HomeKit Devices work with both.

If you have a technical background and you like to tinker and you want to feel that you’ve made a fully informed choice evaluating all the possibilities, then HomeKit is not likely to appeal to you.

If all you want is to have your lights come on as you pull in the driveway and go off again by voice control after you’re in bed, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time shopping, customizing, installing, or maintaining, HomeKit is as close to a set and forget DIY low cost system as you’re going to find.

It’s certainly not for everyone, but neither are the complex customizable systems. And, no pun intended, it really is an apples and oranges situation. What some people see as a negative in the limited feature systems, even the small number of devices to choose from, will be seen as a positive by those who want to limit their investment in time as well as money spent.

Choice is good. :sunglasses:

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I don’t think the real problem is having a comparatively limited number of different types of devices to choose from (although that is certainly a problem). I think the real problem is having a comparatively limited number of competing products to choose from. The more 3rd party vendors’ products that are prevented from being available choices for HomeKit users due to Apple’s onerous compatibility and certification requirements, the fewer options those users have when compared with users of more open systems like ST. A couple of vendors offering a couple models of motions sensors of the type I want for one system is not as advantageous to me…in multiple ways…a dozens of vendors offering several models of that type of motion sensor for other systems. As you say…

In case anyone missed the news, Apple hired the founder of DropCam recently.

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It’s a good point, and I share your preference, but again there are currently millions of people with home automation systems from their cable or security providers who were given almost no choice in which motion sensor would be used. Maybe there would be a choice of two, but often there is only one device per device class. And the systems still sell and customer satisfaction still seems to be about as high as for the full-featured low cost systems.

With HomeKit, I have a choice of two motion sensors, or I can use the Hue motion sensor just for hue lights or with a popcorn effect.

My housemate, who values his time higher than pretty much anything else, and reliability second, is perfectly happy with that choice. He doesn’t really care what the competing features are. He just wants the lights to come on when he walks into the room and go off by themselves after he’s left. He doesn’t even want to hear what the feature differences are between the different models.

He’s a very smart guy, with a good job, and he will argue the details and merits of a particular type of weapon for a particular video game for hours.

But to him, the details of the devices that control having the lights come on just aren’t interesting–or worth time he’d rather spend on something else. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Yes, but the vast majority of those people went with those systems not because they were the best option overall, but because they were being offered by their cable or security providers as an extension to the other base service they likely already had. That’s a VERY different market from stand-alone home automation solutions (I use “stand-alone” here in the sense that they’re not extensions/add-ons to another existing system/service).

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Yet here you are, claiming I am misrepresenting facts. I’m not the one making this a pissing contest… but I will not let this pass.

Is it untrue that the “Apple ecosystem” has a very high customer retention rate - that there are millions of people who are essentially Apple loyalists in their tech decisions? I worked in the industry for awhile, so I experienced it firsthand. And I see it in plenty of people in my own circles nowadays; they use Apple computers as they always have, and therefore won’t even look at Android or other phone systems as long as the iPhone remains available. Tell ya what: let’s see the line outside BestBuy the next time Samsung releases a phone. Never seen it before? Neither have I… but we see lines around the block at Apple stores for the release of each and every new iPhone iteration.

Now go ahead and tell me again how I am ‘misrepresenting’ the Apple installed base… or how I’m posting based on figments of my imagination, as opposed to your ‘facts’.

From Usage share of operating systems - Wikipedia

Source	      Date	        Method	       Android    iOS	 Windows	BlackBerry   Symbian	Others
Gartner[76]	Q3 2016	Units sold in quarter	87.8%    11.5%   0.4%	    0.1%	      N/A	     0.2%
Gartner[77]	Q2 2016	Units sold in quarter	86.2%    12.9%	 0.6%	    0.1%	      N/A	     0.2%

What industry?[quote=“Glen_King, post:16, topic:75643”]
let’s see the line outside BestBuy the next time Samsung releases a phone

I’m not comparing iPhone vs Samsung.