Last June at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple announced that it would be enlisting home builders to pre-install HomeKit in new homes. They want home buyers to have the option of a fully automated home instead of just focusing on finishings like floor tiles or wallpaper. Three home builders, Brookfield Residential, Lennar, and KB Home, have already constructed homes with a built-in Apple HomeKit infrastructure.
Apple also unveiled a HomeKit control application called Home. Home allows you to control all of your HomeKit-enabled devices from the application itself instead of using several apps.
Apple is not the first home automation company to think of a built-in home automation system. But so far, it has beaten the likes of Amazon and Google in actually putting this idea into practice. Let’s look at some of the reasons why Apple has made a significant move into the pre-installed home automation market:
Google Home and Amazon Echo have been generating a lot of buzz in the home automation market lately. Apple HomeKit has not managed to get as much attention, especially in the tech news arena. The problem is that HomeKit-enabled products do just the same things that Amazon and Google automation devices do.
Instead of marketing on traditional media, the company is banking on getting customers by marketing through experience. They know that during walkthrough inspections or open house in real estate, a buyer can test how the automation system works and gauge whether it adds value to the home.
Apple probably hopes that in the few minutes the home buyer tests HomeKit devices they will have a good experience. They are banking on experience to draw automation newbies into the market in the hope that they will choose HomeKit as their first automation control system even if they do not buy the house. This makes sense because some of the most popular automation systems work in more or less the same way.
They could also introduce Apple HomeKit to people who already know about home automation and have lived in automated homes. It would be an easier way to make them experience how HomeKit works so that they can compare it with their own systems and then hopefully switch to HomeKit devices.
Create stickier customers
Another reason why Apple is moving in this direction is to get stickier, or loyal, customers. Such customers are willing to pay a premium for excellent customer service and will stick with the brand even if product cost is adjusted upwards.
Apple is facing a lot of competition from other tech giants like Amazon and Google, both of which are determined to dominate the home automation market. Pre-installed automation introduces the customer to HomeKit. Once they buy the house, Apple does everything possible to keep them a satisfied and loyal customer.
But there are issues
Despite the quality of Apple devices, there are still a large number of people who prefer to use Android phones. This would severely limit the customers of home building companies that want to pre-install HomeKit accessories. An Android user will not have the same experience as an iOS device user because the Android user will have to download separate apps for smart devices within the home.
In some instances, the Android user may reject buying the home or ask the developer to remove pre-installed accessories only compatible with HomeKit. It will be up to Apple to determine whether they need the Android user or not.
The homes will probably feature all the best characteristics of HomeKit to impress any potential buyer. It is a big gamble, but it will have significant returns if it works. For more information about home automation, please visit our website today.