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Apple Wants Another Crack At Being Wanted, New Voice Battle

Apple wants a share of the connected home market and believe they can take on Google and Amazon in the voice activation market and smart house attach market after being rejected by most third-party brands.

The Company having failed once in the networked speaker market and with most third party Companies such as TV makers and sound Companies choosing Google or Alexa voice as their preferred partner is now looking to hire a new team to work on developing smart-home software and devices in an effort to catch up with their two big rivals claim sources.

According to Bloomberg the company is seeking engineers to work on a re-engineered Apple smart-home platform and that gaining a foothold in the smart-home market is critical for Apple as it looks for new offerings beyond the iPhone and seeks ways to keep people buying its products and services.

The company first dipped its toe into the area in 2014 with the launch of HomeKit, a Siri-connected platform that connects smart-home devices to Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and HomePod.

Apple offers a Home app on most of its devices, letting users lock and unlock doors, connect to sprinklers, open blinds, and control media on TVs and speakers using its AirPlay protocol.

While Amazon and Google have opened up their Alexa and Google Assistant to third-party products, the Siri voice assistant is only available on Apple devices, but it can control third-party products via HomeKit.

Their latest effort is designed to get more outside accessory and appliance makers to connect smart-home products such as lights and garage doors with the iPhone and Apple’s voice-activated digital assistant, Siri.

The effort is headed by Andreas Gal, the former Mozilla chief technology officer who joined Apple last year when his company Silk Labs was acquired by the iPhone maker.

Apple has posted 15 job listings on its website since last month for engineers to work on the company’s platform, called HomeKit, smart-home devices and related software and has shared other listings on third-party job boards.

Siri like Samsung’s Bixby are not seen as mainstream with third party Companies preferring Google Voice and Amazon Alexa.

Apple’s HomePod speaker has 5% market share compared with 70% for Amazon smart speakers and 20% for Google speakers, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

The Apple TV set-top box, in addition to Google’s Chromecast, has fallen far behind Roku and Amazon in TV appliances.

In the overall smart-speaker market, according to International Data Corp., Apple has only 2% share compared to 25% for Amazon and 22% for Google, including the companies’ own products and third-party devices.

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