Apple’s assault on the smart home: Does HomeKit have what it takes to win the market?

“Along with HealthKit, one of the marquee features announced with the launch of iOS 8 was Apple’s HomeKit, a home automation framework designed to get separate smart home devices talking to each other, all controlled centrally by a iPhone or iPad,” Jo Best reports for ZDNet.

“With the home automation market set to be worth $71bn by 2018, according to Juniper Research, it’s no surprise that Apple is interested in staking its claim to the smart home in the same way it has the smartphone,” Best reports. “But for a long time after HomeKit launched, there was little sign of an ecosystem building around it or high profile supporters.”

“Now, however, the first wave of HomeKit hardware products by third-party manufacturers are beginning to hit the shelves: the last couple of weeks have seen Philips launch its HomeKit Hue Bridge for controlling home lighting, while August has unveiled a HomeKit-connected door lock. These products join a handful of others from companies including Ecobee, Honeywell, Incipio, Insteon, and Lutron,” Best reports. “With the software in place and hardware now trickling out, are we seeing the first coming of HomeKit – or a platform that’s yet to, and may never, catch on? NextMarket Insights is predicting the former, with 180 million HomeKit devices shipped by 2020. ‘Apple’s track record of creating excitement for nascent markets is unparalleled,’ Michael Wolf, the company’s chief analyst, wrote in a recent blog.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No other company can offer what Apple can.


  1. Yeah, if they ever release it. I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to upgrade my home to be connected to my iPhone, and I’m still waiting. The most I would spend pre-HomeKit was a set of Hue Lightbulbs, and as cool as it is I’m still bummed I can’t ask Siri to turn the lights on/off/dim/color.

  2. MDN: while I appreciate your take and typically agree, I think you’re missing the point.

    The key to success in the Smart Home is products. There have been numerous platforms, but none have enough products to unify.

    Thus far, the only platform that seems to have been able to move numerous manufacturers to one platform is Iris (from Lowes). That said, I’ve been a very vocal about Iris integrating with HomeKit, although I don’t know if it’s really possible.

  3. I am just at the start of planning a house that will be a vacation home now and probably my primary residence in retirement. I want a highly automated home with the ability to manage/monitor it remotely as it not located near my current residence by a couple of thousand miles and I plan to travel quite a bit when I retire.

    Needless to say, we should not just trust anyone for stuff like this as security and reliability will be paramount.

    I would imagine that in the longer term there will be much more money spent on home automation than on cars-especially in terms of profit. Yet Apple is still in the parking lot with HomeKit- they are not even in the slow lane.

  4. My experience with HomeKit has been very problematic. I use Insteon switches, and the company came out with a new HomeKit enabled Hub Pro this summer. The software was very beta-ish, but it’s gotten more stable since release. The upshot is that I can now use Siri on my iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch to turn things on/off around the house.

    But, that’s not the end of the story. Here’s the beta-ish part. Something is delaying the initial response to a Siri command, almost like the Hub Pro is sleeping, because the first time I tell Siri to turn X on, nothing happens. If I repeat the command, typically again nothing happens, but if I check the iPhone app, the switch shows it changed state, when actually it didn’t. If I then tell it to turn X off, then turn X on again, the switch responds.

    Thereafter, for a while, first time Siri commands work and it’s really pretty cool.

    The bigger issue at the moment is that this only works around the house. Remote access on the Insteon Hub Pro using the new Insteon+ app has never worked for me, and no one on the forums can confirm that it has for them either.

    However, this may just be an Insteon engineering issue. Another user with the new ecobee3 thermostat with HomeKit enabled says his device responds to both Siri commands and its app both remotely and on the user’s home WiFi LAN. That’s hopeful. Insteon’s been blaming Apple for their hardware not working properly.

    In any case, HomeKit functionality is clearly on a slow rollout. I still look forward to a Eureka-like AI assistant responding to voice commands around my house.

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