New hire by Apple suggests renewed focus on smart home market
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Besides the HomeKit, a software suite that allows connections to third-party accessories, Apple could be said not to have much of a presence in the smart home space. It also has only one hardware product dedicated to this market: the HomePod. However, the company may be aiming to compete more with the likes of Google and Amazon for a larger share of it.
To this end, Apple has made a new hire to head up its Home division. This opportunity has been extended to Sam Jadallah, who has also occupied a high-level management position at Microsoft. Jadallah had also been involved in an unrelated project called Otto. It had existed to produce a high-end electronic lock. This device could have been called the Apple of smart locks, particularly in its approximate retail price of US$700.
However, Otto had reportedly folded, having failed to secure a buyout in 2017. This left Jadallah - who had brought a number of staff into the new start-up from Apple - free to start at Apple Home, as per his LinkedIn page. Apple has also acquired the voice-control company Pullstring, suggesting a definitive rejuvenation in its smart-home ambitions for the future.
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