Why Apple must turn HomeKit into homeOS
Apple’s mooted decision to develop its own smart home products is an inevitable next step for a company that knows the kind of business growth it achieved with iPhone is unlikely to be repeated.
Think about it like this: Smartphones have connected the planet:
- There are around 3 billion users in the world today.
- Around a third of those devices are iPhones.
- Global population sits at around 7.7 billion.
This means that across most of the planet, if you don’t have a smartphone you probably know someone who does. It also means the rate of growth is slowing as post-adoption replacement purchasing habits take hold.
Most people use their devices for as long as they can before they upgrade them. That’s why Apple is focusing on customer experience and longevity, as it hopes to convince existing iPhone users to choose a new iPhone next time they upgrade.
At the same time, market growth is slowing. So where can Apple find iPhone/iPod levels of growth?
I don’t think it can, at least, not with one product (yet). But it can with several.
That’s where smart home products come in: Apple knows the smart home will become more popular, and yet some of the solutions sold to consumers have big problems.
That is a market opportunity – and one it could profit on more strongly with an OS that answers those problems.
Who are your smart home devices talking to?
Are any of the following really what you want your smart home to be about?
- Door entry systems that tell companies you don’t know and over which you have no control when you are out?
- HVAC systems that share your personal usage data with advertising and marketing firms without letting you control that information?
- Poorly protected systems with weak passcodes that become prime targets for hackers trying to gain (digital or physical) entry to your home?
Unfortunately, in some (though by no means all) cases, this really is what your smart home products are about, as unscrupulous manufacturers harvest and trade the data the devices they make gather about you and your life.
Now, it is…