Thursday, March 18, 2021

Apple’s Perplexing Home Strategy

Zac Hall:

You can trust that Apple will continue to make new iPhones and Macs for the foreseeable future, but Apple’s home products resemble Google’s betting strategy more than Apple’s usual commitment to focus and delivery.


How confident are we that HomePod mini will be enough of a hit to keep Apple’s interest? How sure are we that Apple TV, the streaming media box, has a place in Apple’s lineup? Maybe the Apple TV app and AirPlay 2 TVs are like the HomePod mini in that they reach more households.

Apple discontinuing HomePod isn’t impossible to understand, but the move does leave me with a number of questions for Apple. What’s the threshold for success for home products? What does Apple hope to achieve with home products? Why should customers trust Apple believes in its home products when it doesn’t lead the market? Why not just invest in Amazon, Sonos, and other smart home solutions that feel less like a hobby?

John Voorhees:

There are plenty of good AirPlay 2 speakers available that I can eventually swap in, as Hall points out. However, coupled with the expensive, long-in-the-tooth Apple TV, I don’t have the confidence I once had in Apple’s home strategy, especially when it comes to audio and video entertainment, which feels especially strange to say when Apple Music and TV+ are so clearly important parts of the company’s service strategy.

Jason Snell:

I sure hope this is all setting us up for a roll-out of Apple’s new home strategy, but I’m concerned that the company is still utterly at sea when it comes to this stuff.


Apple also abandoned the home router market… and its competitors have rushed in. HomeKit seems stalled, though perhaps it’s just waiting for the CHOP to drop.


1 Comment RSS · Twitter

Wait, Apple has a Home strategy? Where?

“Apple also abandoned the home router market”

Yeah, no. Even Apple isn’t dumb enough to prolong the pain of staying in a market long since commoditied to death. Maybe it’s different for other countries, but here when you sign up for internet for 18/24/36 months a router already comes bundled with that at no extra cost.

Probably because the cable companies have worked out that it’s now cheaper to mail each new customer an already configured “black box” just to plug in and go, rather than paying to run a vast telephone support to explain to screaming customers for the N-hundredth time how to configure it themselves.


Now, ask me about an Apple TeeVee—as in, a real 60-90" 4K+ LED screen to die for, not some dweeb dongle Blu-Tacked to the ass of your Sony Bravia…

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