Apple Improves its Smart Home Efforts

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 Apple’s Smart Home falls behind Amazon and Google and the tech giant is planning to change that. 

Apple is gearing up and hiring a team of skilled individuals working on new smart-home software and devices to catch up against its competition. The team is headed by Andreas Gal, former Mozilla Chief Technology Officer. He joined Apple after his Silk Labs was acquired by the company. The team also has new managers and engineers from several companies including Amazon, Qualcomm. The hiring process is still undergoing over 15 new jobs postings since September this year. 

The team’s goal is to make the new platform more attractive to device manufacturers. Amazon is also making some changes to its smart home speakers and offers other devices such as headphones and microwaves with built-in Alexa support. 

The fall of Apple’s smart home

Apple’s success in its Homekit initiative depends on the success of smart homes. The system has been around since 2014, while the HomePod speaker was launched last year after many delays with a price tag that’s way above the competition. It’s no surprise that Apple’s smart home fell behind when compared to other smart speaker systems. 

The cost disappointed the consumers and makers, thus they shifted their attention to building the Alexa-enabled devices instead. Aside from that, it only lists 450 compatible devices as opposed to Google’s 10,000 devices and Amazon’s 85,000 devices. 

Apple also set strict specifications for its smart home platform while both Google and Amazon have fewer restrictions. It’s still unknown whether Apple will adopt lesser restrictions in the new devices. As of now, Apple only has 5% of market share while Google has 20% and Amazon has 70%. 

Apple’s brewing up new products

Aside from smart devices, Apple is also working on self-driving cars, AR headsets that are to launch next year, iPhone that supports 5g technology, and Mac computers that run on Apple chips instead of Intel processors. 

What does this mean for you?

Marketers are looking for ways to seep into the growing market of smart speakers. By 2022, it’s expected that half of the American homes will have at least one smart speaker according to Juniper Research. As of now, brands can’t advertise directly on smart speakers but they can, however, advertise on music streaming services and podcasts. Many brands are now jumping into promoting their products and services on Amazon Echo and Google Nest Hub. With the Apple smart home device coming into the market, it may be another avenue for brands to reach out to a wider audience. 

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