“With Google Inc.’s Nest unit shaking up a once-staid market, Honeywell International Inc. (HON) is striking back with a Wi-Fi thermostat being introduced today and by working with Apple Inc.,” Thomas Black reports for Bloomberg. “The Lyric can be controlled by a smartphone and has a sleek round look with a large digital display, similar to Nest’s.”
“Honeywell’s 39 percent share of U.S. thermostat sales in 2013 makes the company a target for rivals rushing out equipment promising energy savings, more comfort and less user confusion. The No. 2 competitor, Johnson Controls Inc., had 6.5 percent of the $3.1 billion in U.S. residential and industrial thermostat revenue, according to New York-based researcher IBISWorld Inc.,” Black reports. “Honeywell has signed on to participate in Apple’s HomeKit, a platform unveiled last week to run home gadgets including locks and lights. The new Wi-Fi thermostats also will be part of a ‘family of products’ under the Lyric brand, said Beth Wozniak, president of Honeywell’s Environmental and Combustion Controls unit.”
“Nest has introduced an alarm for smoke and carbon monoxide; sales were suspended in April due to a recall,” Black reports. “Honeywell came out swinging in 2012 with a lawsuit against Nest alleging that the startup had infringed on seven patents. Honeywell is ‘confident of our position,’ said Bruce Anderson, a spokesman, who declined to comment further. Nest called the lawsuit ‘meritless allegations’ in a 2012 statement and cited Richard Lutton Jr., the company’s general counsel, as saying the case was an attempt to stifle competition.”
“Google’s $3.2 billion purchase in February of Nest thrust the owner of the world’s biggest search engine into the digital home-automation market,” Black reports. “Apple’s foray into home automation may give Honeywell a lift. Cupertino, California-based Apple said June 2 its HomeKit will let customers tell an iPhone they’re going to bed — turning off lights, locking doors and setting the thermostat. HomeKit participants include Kwikset locks and Philips Lighting. Honeywell is banking on consumers staying loyal to a brand that’s in 150 million homes and sold through 90,000 contractors, Wozniak said. The Lyric’s $279 cost tops the Nest’s $249.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: We’ll take HomeKit-enabled devices – exclusively, thanks.
We are replacing our Nest thermostats with fuller featured, far more reliable Honeywell devices.
A lot has been made of Google getting former Apple employees with their wild overpayment for Nest Labs. However, if Apple really wanted and valued these employees, they’d still be at Apple.
Honeywell takes dead aim at Google’s Nest with new iPhone-compatible Lyric smart thermostat – June 10, 2014
Dead to me: Apple’s Schiller ‘unfollows’ Tony Fadell and Nest after Google acquisition – January 18, 2014