According to Wired magazine on May 27, 2012, the smartphone war was fought in 2012, and now the battlefield of the smart home is smoldering again. The Financial Times recently reported that Apple wants to make the automation of the high-tech home in “The Jacksons” a reality by turning iPhones and other Apple devices into remote controllers for home appliances. For example, when you walk up to the front door, you can use your iPhone to send a command to turn on the air conditioner.
Although Apple has not yet confirmed the rumors, the Financial Times says Apple has recently been working on a software platform that would allow appliance makers to use Apple”s operating system. The platform may be released as early as next week at Apple”s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The initiative may make Apple the center of attention on the Internet, setting it apart from similar competitors such as Google and Samsung. These companies have been battling for smartphone market share for years, but it”s clear to them that the next big battle isn”t here: The new elements added to smartphones haven”t sparked consumer interest, and the high-end market is largely set. This month, Apple and Google ended their endless patent battle in the smartphone space and pledged to collaborate on patent reform. But the smart home is another matter.
For now, neither of these companies has explicitly entered the smart home space. Earlier in the year, Google spent $3.2 billion to acquire Nest, a smart home company that enables thermostats and fire alarms to be connected to the Web. Rumors have been flying recently about Google”s plans to buy smart surveillance maker Dropcam, and Samsung is building an app related to the smart home. Through the application, users can control Samsung”s home appliances, including refrigerators, televisions and other appliances will support the platform. At present, however, there are still many problems in the smart home sector.
Although Google continues to expand its development in this area of the smart home through acquisitions, it is still unclear how it will build the network platform to make all the technology is connected. After all, Google is not a traditional hardware manufacturer, and convincing consumers that it can take control of their homes is a difficult task. Samsung has a lot of experience in consumer electronics, but the smart home is a whole new field, and it”s unclear how much consumer demand there is for these applications. Perhaps after investing billions of dollars in the future, the products will go unnoticed.
From this point of view, perhaps Apple”s approach is more cautious. By developing a software platform rather than manufacturing or acquiring the appliances themselves, Apple faces relatively little risk. The biggest challenge Apple faces is convincing device manufacturers to join the new platform. Considering Apple”s market reach and reputation, this does not appear to be difficult. Moreover, since users have been using Apple devices for years, consumers may not reject Apple-connected devices compared to Google”s products.
In addition, if the smart home market can grow further, then this platform will also further increase the sales of Apple products. If the number of appliances that support Apple”s operating system is the highest, consumers are more likely to buy iPhones and iPads than other devices, which may lead to another wave of smartphones.