Analyst Report: HomeKit: How Apple’s first step toward the smart home will impact the market

Analysis

At the recent WWDC 2014 conference, Apple announced its first move into the smart home with HomeKit, an iOS software framework that controls smart-home devices. It was a small but important first step, as HomeKit will likely become a checklist item for manufacturers of connected devices looking to tap into Apple’s large and loyal user base.

Key implications of the announcement include:

  • Most connected-device makers without an allegiance to a proprietary smart-home system or one of Apple’s competitors (i.e., Google or Nest) will incorporate the HomeKit API and protocol into their existing solutions.
  • In the short term, Apple’s entry could have a beneficial impact on carriers as overall consumer awareness increases. In the longer term the impact of HomeKit on service providers could be mixed. If HomeKit and a broader Apple smart-home effort ultimately enable a more simple way to manage the smart-home experience, service providers could see less of a demand for managed home networks.
  • DIY smart-home companies like SmartThings, Revolv, Belkin, and Staples could see a mixed impact. The end result will likely lead to increased competition from low-cost clone smart-home system providers.

Feature image courtesy Flickr user Mike Fisher

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. What is HomeKit?
  3. Near-term impact of HomeKit
  4. Ecosystem implications
  5. What’s next for Apple?
  6. About Michael Wolf
  7. About Gigaom Research

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