Apple loses ground to Amazon in smart home deals with homebuilders

“As Amazon and Apple race to get consumers to buy smart devices that do everything from unlock a door to turn on lights, the companies are pursuing a second line of attack: installing the devices in homes while they are under construction,” Aaron Tilley and Priya Anand report for The Information. “On this front, Amazon appears to have an edge.

“A division of Shea Homes that builds retirement communities in Northern California, for instance, is installing Amazon Dot speakers directly into ceilings in various rooms around the house,” Tilley and Anand report. “Separately, Amazon late last year struck a large-scale deal with Lennar, one of the biggest home builders in the U.S. Under the deal, Lennar is paying to place two Echo devices and install Alexa-powered door locks, light switches and thermostats into every new house it builds. Amazon also did a deal with a division of Brookfield Homes in Washington, D.C.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in February:

Nothing is as secure as Apple HomeKit. No even close. And home automation is still in its infancy (gestation is more like it). Apple has plenty of time to really get things going here. Teaming with large homebuilders might be the smartest path right now and it’s a path Apple is already on with leading home builders, including Brookfield Residential, KB Home, Lennar Homes and R&F Properties, now integrating many HomeKit devices into new homes.

Note to homebuilders: In general, the richest people use Apple devices. Unless you’re selling double-wides, eschew Apple solutions at your own peril.

Apple HomeKit is lags the competition and is in danger of falling even further behind – February 6, 2017
How to configure your 4th-gen Apple TV as a HomeKit hub – January 10, 2017
The best products for building a smart home with Apple’s HomeKit – November 10, 2016
DDoS attack: Apple’s HomeKit for a safer smarthome – October 24, 2016
Honeywell unveils Apple HomeKit-compatible Lyric T5 Wi-Fi thermostat – September 27, 2016
Google’s flaky Nest thermostat shakes users’ trust in the Internet of Things – January 19, 2016
Google’s Nest thermostat bug leaves users cold, angry – January 14, 2016
Honeywell announces ‘Lyric Round’ smart thermostat with Apple HomeKit integration – January 5, 2016
Apple HomeKit-compatible thermostat Ecobee closes in on Google’s Nest – September 28, 2015
Apple pulls Google’s Nest thermostat from stores with launch of HomeKit-compatible Ecobee 3 – July 23, 2015
First Apple-certified HomeKit-compliant devices launch – June 2, 2015
Google engineer trashes Tony Fadell’s precious Nest smoke alarm – February 19, 2015
With HomeKit and Honeywell’s Lyric, a Nest acquisition by Apple would have been foolish – June 18, 2014
Will Apple’s Internet of Things vision hurt a beautiful idea? With HomeKit, Apple promises easy home automation – June 6, 2014
Smart thermostat war heats up as Apple-partner Honeywell takes aim at Google’s Nest – June 13, 2014
Honeywell takes dead aim at Google’s Nest with new iPhone-compatible Lyric smart thermostat – June 10, 2014
Google to SEC: We could serve ads on thermostats, refrigerators, car dashboards, and more – May 21, 2014
Dead to me: Apple’s Schiller ‘unfollows’ Tony Fadell and Nest after Google acquisition – January 18, 2014


  1. i had a vision. so i entrepreneured myself there, to that visionary future. lo and behold, steve jobs had already been there and planted a flag for his beloved apple. i was excited and went to get tim. i found him working on his pride float. i could tell he was excited, too. i mean, i think he was excited.

  2. Another day, another story about how Apple has missed the boat on one service or another. You’d think companies would be lining up to work with Apple…and maybe they are. More and more, Apple seems to be rotting at the core as the company cannot seem to deliver any service until long after everyone else has already done so.

    Siri sucks, homekit is all untapped potential, new speakers are limited in functionality (and usefulness as far as I am concerned), pro computing is non existent, Apple TV late to 4k and still limited in audio codecs…and on and on.

    Sorry to sound like a downer, maybe I’m just having a bad day. But Apple fails to thrill me like it used to. From “exciting” and “it just works” to “barely good enough some long while after everyone else has already done it”. It’s just not the same Apple these days.

      1. The end result will more likely be, the place will not be sold to you over the developer spending money to remove the system. That is unless you are paying a nice premium, at which point you are probably paying for the removal anyway.

  3. can make me quiver a bit as I conclude Apple is missing another boat. Then I wonder if this is a market Apple needs or should be in? Is a person to “take delight” in a video door bell, or a remote controlled light bulb? Apple has been and is misstepping, but is the auto-home one of the misses?

    1. It may simply be brand ‘visibility’. The more systems out there that have Amazon installed in the home from the get go, the more exposure people have to complete systems that ‘just work’ especially when used in model rooms when selling units. If Samsung/LG home appliances are easily connected to Alexa, it may make it even harder for Apple to establish a foothold.

    2. They said the same thing about the mouse, graphical user interface, personal digital music players, personal printers, portable laptop computers, large screen displays, personal all-in-one computers, home WiFi networks, FireWire, Bluetooth, and even the smartphone. Apple was integral in each of those things, and most moved the industry forward. But Apple has mismanaged home automation and it no longer has the power to catch up. They’re spending more in R&D than ever before, and there doesn’t seem to be anything to show for it.

    1. That is a true statement. Dell is #1 in US and worldwide sales, and growing faster than Macs. They are even pulling away from Timmy Cook’s old company, Compaq/HP.

      It’s also true that nobody knows how much money Dell makes because it is a private business now. Based on the constant innovation at Dell and the willingness to deliver everything from entry level junk to the most current cutting edge hardcore stuff, it’s likely Dell makes less per unit sold than Apple does. Instead Dell is getting delighted users while Apple sits on its hands.

      Somebody needs to clean out the dead leaders in Cupertino. The place is starting to stink.

  4. Been wasting my time with HomeKit and am just about ready to throw it in the trash. Apple has proven to be a dilettante in home automation and monitoring.

    I am taking a close look at Luxone- it does what Apple only promises.

  5. Apple has been failing us for five years now ever since jobs died. They made a mistake building that spaceship campus so there is don’t never be able to sell it.

  6. Another example of Apples biggest problem. ‘Brand Protection Paralysis’. BPP runs deep – when you start fearing failure more than driving innovation you’re on the slippy slope. It’s afffected music, car and now home. They need to wake up – start taking risks and worry less about what people think and more about what they’ll love.

    1. Jeff Bozo thanks you!

      You bought Amazing system that listens EVERYTHING that you are talking near it. Google hopes that you get one from them too. Do n

    2. stock price, making $$ and TC trying to be a good corp leader?
      “Good”, if one doesn’t include meeting simple product timelines, Siri’s progress, making iTunes more functional and iCloud less confusing and Apple TV more relevant, social justice warrior-ism less consuming, the Notch less obvious, Eddy less of a tool, TV commercials less superficial and ….

  7. Jeff Bozo thanks you!

    You bought Amazing system that listens EVERYTHING that you are talking near it. Google hopes that you get one from them too.

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