Apple is seldom the first to enter new markets, as every Apple lover knows. Instead, Apple waits until everything is in order before firing the shot heard around the globe. With the iPhone, iPad, Apple Pay, and Apple Watch, we’ve seen this again and time again.
Apple’s home strategy has been difficult to nail down, especially when compared to the company’s laser-like emphasis on the iPhone. Apple’s efforts with the Apple TV, HomePod, and HomeKit, on the other hand, indicate that it’s a market the firm definitely wants to be in and is still actively working on.
Of course, not all of Apple’s submissions are hits. After all, there’s the HomePod, Apple TV, and the company’s now-defunct AirPort routers.
Apple clearly failed to read the room when it came to products like the HomePod, but let it not be said that Apple isn’t a company that learns from its mistakes. The HomePod mini has been a significant course correction, and by all indications the smaller and more affordable speaker is selling like hotcakes — so much so that Apple recently expanded it into multiple colours to suit your home decor.
It’s also probably not a coincidence that Apple’s most pedestrian product attempts have been those for the home. It’s not that the original HomePod or the Apple TV were bad products per se; they were merely niche products that never garnered wide appeal due to high prices and limited scope.
As great as the HomePod mini is, however, it’s still only part of a larger home ecosystem that’s missing one key component — a true “home hub.”
Until now, Apple has been content to have its HomeKit environment driven mostly by Siri and the Home app on the iPhone and iPad. Granted, Apple is in a unique position in that regard, since it already has a vibrant hardware platform, unlike competitors like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Many would argue, however, that Amazon and Google are still eating HomeKit’s lunch when it comes to whole-home automation. Not only do they boast a significantly wider array of compatible devices, but both companies also produce real smart home hubs that provide a central point of access and control for the entire family.