HomeKit Weekly: Why 2023 is the time for Apple to release its own smart home products

Google, Apple, and Amazon are three of the biggest technology companies in the world, and both have a strong presence in the smart home market. However, their approaches to this market differ in some key ways. After spending years fully in the camp of HomeKit, I’ve spent the last few weeks with some first-party Google products, and I think it’s worth asking the question: Why doesn’t Apple make its own smart home products?

HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.

Google’s smart home hardware strategy centers around its Google Nest line of products. These include the Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Google Home Max smart speakers, as well as the Google Nest line of smart home devices, such as the Nest Thermostat, Nest Cam and Nest doorbell (wired and battery).

Apple, on the other hand, has a different approach to the smart home market. Apple’s only “smart home products” are the HomePod mini and the Apple TV. There is no Apple doorbell, No Apple cameras, and no Apple home display. After using some first-party products from Google for the past few weeks, it’s shown me the importance of setting the vision and giving users premium product options.

Integrations are good, products are better

If someone were to ask me, what are the best products for a Google smart home, I’d say the products that Google makes. If someone were to ask what the best products for a smart home built on Amazon, I’d say products like Ring, Eero, and other products owned by Amazon. If someone were to ask what are the best products for a HomeKit home, there is a laundry list of the best vendors and products. This reality is good in some ways as Apple has courted some amazing vendors, and technologies like Matter are breaking down barriers to make more products work in more places. There is something easy for customers to know that I love Google products, so I am going to use a Google thermostat or a Google camera. If you’re using Google Nest Wi-Fi and Nest Cameras, you know you are going to have an easier time getting support in the future if you run into issues. 

With Apple, you’ll need to do your own research on Wi-Fi systems. Then you’ll need to find out which camera works best with HomeKit, and then if you want a thermostat, you’ll need to research that. It’s the smart home version of building your own computer.

What should Apple do?

I believe Apple should launch a handful of products:

  • Apple-branded indoor camera designed for HomeKit Secure Video
  • Apple-branded outdoor camera designed for HomeKit Secure Video
  • Apple-branded outlet adaptor 
  • Apple-branded thermostat
  • Buy Level, and rebrand its lock as the HomeKit lock
  • HomePod with a Display
  • Mesh router system with HomePod minis as the satellite connections

Building out these product lines would be a perfect upsell in the Apple Store, online, and in retailers. Apple sells its own Apple Watch bands, so why not its own smart home accessories? Hopefully this is something on Apple’s radar, and we can see it in the new year.

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Author: Subham

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