Apple’s rumoured expansion into smart home connected devices may not be as big of a deal as many people would have liked. A new report claims Apple isn’t planning on launching a brand new platform, but rather simply extending its “Made for iPhone” certification program.
This report from GigaOM cites unnamed sources familiar with Apple’s work in this department and warns that we'll probably be disappointed by Apple’s announcements at WWDC next week. When the original rumor came about many people had hoped Apple was finally pulling their signature move: moving into a new market and revolutionizing it.
After all, “smart homes” are not a new concept, and connected devices have been around for a few years now, but nobody has got it quite right and adoption is still low. Despite this many industry watchers believe this market may very well be the next big thing, especially now that smartphones have become ubiquitous.
Despite everyone’s hopes it seems Apple isn’t actually revolutionizing anything. Instead the company is extending its “made for iPhone” certification program to new manufacturers. The program would now include smart appliances than can easily connect and work well with iOS. This is definitely a far cry from the whole new platform that unifies everything that many people were hoping for.
And what makes this quite believable is that Apple already made such a deal back at CES with a Chinese appliance manufacturer. Their Tianzun smart air conditioner carries the Made for iPhone tag, because it connects seamlessly with the device via Wi-Fi. We’re very likely to see this same approach extended to other companies.
Of course it’s not all bad. This is a first step for Apple and, in the future, devices that carry Made for iPhone certification may get special features, such as location-based actions, or even what everyone hoped for: an Apple-designed hub that unifies different systems. But that doesn’t seem to be on the books for now.