Apple hires ex-Microsoft exec to revamp smart home business

“Sam Jadallah, the former CEO of a smart lock company that shut down just over a year ago, has a new job: He’ll be leading the home initiatives at Apple, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC,” Christina Farr reports for CNBC. “Hiring Jadallah is the latest signal that Apple plans to get serious about its own efforts in the home. Recently, the company acquired a start-up called PullString… That purchase could help the smartphone maker become the center of a connected living room.”

“On Saturday, after CNBC broke the news of his hire, Jadallah updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect his new role with Apple,” Farr reports. “Jadallah previously ran a start-up called Otto, which made a $700 lock that was backed by the venture firm Greylock. He also spent more than a decade at Microsoft, and had a stint in venture capital at the firm Mohr Davidow.”

“Otto suspended its operations four months after launching its beautifully-designed Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-enabled luxury lock. In interviews, Jadallah hinted at having found a buyer, which pulled out at the last minute,” Farr reports. “About 70 percent of the early team behind Otto were actually poached from Apple’s ranks, Jadallah has previously said. The lock was compared favorably by reviewers to the ‘Apple of smart locks.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We certainly thought Apple would be further ahead on the smart home than they are currently. Ask a “regular” person about smart home products, beyond Amazon Echo devices, and they have no idea. It should be Apple to finally deliver the ease-of-use and simplicity of the smart home to the masses. Hopefully, Jadallah can up Apple’s smart home game.

Jadallah’s Otto digital lock:

Tons of new HomeKit gear is landing this year as adoption quickly accelerates – January 15, 2019
Apple’s HomeKit was a surprise winner of CES 2019 – January 9, 2019
Apple’s Siri has gotten a lot more accurate over the past 9 months – December 21, 2018
AI guru John Giannandrea named to Apple’s executive team – December 20, 2018
Former Apple employees on Eddy Cue: Siri and Eddy were ‘a bad fit’ – September 5, 2018
Apple’s Siri improved by 11 percentage points in correct answers over the last 15 months – July 25, 2018
Apple combines machine learning and Siri teams under John Giannandrea – July 10, 2018
Apple’s ‘personal assistant activation’ patent application hints at improved Siri – May 10, 2018
iOS 11.4 will allow Siri to recognize AirPlay commands – May 3, 2018
Apple’s A.I. efforts get shot of adrenaline with Giannandrea coup – April 6, 2018
A.I. defector gives Apple access to Google’s secrets – April 6, 2018
Gene Munster: Poaching AI chief John Giannandrea from Google a win for Apple – April 5, 2018
Apple hires Google’s A.I. chief to improve Siri – April 4, 2018


  1. Because MS knows so much about AI and home automation ☹️

    This sounds pathetic and more like a desperate move. Come on Timmy, move over and let a real visionary take the wheel.

    1. Have to say that on the surface at least this guy hardly looks like the ideal candidate, what with 10 years at a company with no real expertise in the area of his new job and then an abject failure of a style over substance product that barely got off the ground before it failed taking investors funds and employees jobs with it. Oh and I am sure all those workers tempted from Apple will have so much good to say about a guy who then goes on to work at the place he no doubt abjectly dismissed as he sold them the dream that became a nightmare. Oh well we all make mistakes.

  2. The Otto device looks cool. Would certainly fit in Apple style genre.
    Putting the home app on all Apple input devices has helped with usability. I can control devices from my watch, iPhone, iPad or MBP.
    What I really would like is a good lock and light switches that don’t need an additional hub. They should just work directly with the Home app.

  3. So let me get this straight. Apple hired a guy of a failed lock company. A guy who offered a smart lock for $700, more them twice as much as the leaders in that market. Good job Pipeline, you need to be fired.

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