The Smart Home market today is made up of competing ecosystems, forcing consumers to mix and match a broad array of devices to cobble together a seamless automated environment. A new report from Argus Insights looks at the top options for Smart Home connectivity and finds consumers are frustrated-- in particular with Google and Apple’s refusal to play nice together, and are happier with the broad and relatively easier to integrate Amazon Echo.
According to data compiled from over 576,000 Smart Home device and application consumer reviews from January 2015-present, the Amazon Echo and Apple’s HomeKit are on top of consumers’ minds in specifically discussing ecosystems. The Amazon Echo has gained strong consumer interest since the product was broadly promoted at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, according to the research group. For the Google ecosystem, the Works with Nest environment is the least discussed ecosystem of the bunch.
“Consumers enter the Smart Home journey under the premise of creating an intelligent home that anticipates and serves their needs in a delightful, low maintenance manner. Along this journey, after users overcome the hurdles of installation and continued use through often broken app experiences, they are confronted with a mess of protocols as they approach expansion,” says John Feland, CEO, Argus Insights. “Consumers are dismissing Google’s Nest ecosystem play, and we are seeing a real battle between Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa for the voice of the Smart Home. While Apple forces users to rely on iOS devices, Alexa will chat up anyone willing to integrate into the Echo API.”
In their analysis, Argus Insights finds consumers are calling for an Apple-enabled Smart Home, and are frustrated that the Apple HomeKit isn’t compatible with all products. At the same time, the Amazon Echo has seen nearly the same volume of feedback as HomeKit recently with Alexa integration being a major consumer “delighter.”
“Consumers are taking notice that Amazon is choosing a community garden strategy over a walled garden approach favored by Google and Apple,” says Feland. He adds that key takeaways from the Argus report are:
- Consumers are interested in controlling their Smart Home with Apple, but HomeKit will need to continue to play nice with other brands and expand compatibility past iOS devices to compete with Amazon's Alexa.
- Good hardware isn’t enough to propel Nest further in the Smart Home space. Google is losing its hold on the greater Smart Home market as interest wanes in Works with Nest and Nest Weave.
- Amazon Echo is providing a delightful Smart Home experience with broad compatibility and multi user capabilities.