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New hire by Apple suggests renewed focus on smart home market

Apple does not quite match up to some other major software companies in terms of smart-home products. It has only one product dedicated to this market: the HomePod. The company may by trying to change this by hiring Sam Jadallah, an ex-Microsoft executive with experience in the smart-home space.

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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Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-02-17 (Update: 2019-02-17)
Deirdre O'Donnell
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.