Apple Reportedly to Intro Remote Control Services for Homes
AT&T is another company that has made a major play for the home. Under the umbrella of Digital Life, it enables everything from programming the coffee maker to turn on at 6 a.m., to enabling the driveway lights to turn on when they sense the homeowner's car coming down the street, to unlocking the front door from the other side of the country, to letting in the house sitter. There's a possibility for AT&T, which cares most about the connectivity, to team with Apple, and for Apple to introduce a hub that maybe plugs into an AC outlet and offers consumers remote control over a bunch of things from appliances to lighting, said Kay. "There are opportunities for everything," Kay continued. "But again, it's a matter of does Apple want to play—and not in the way where they keep all of the marbles, except for one crummy, little one that they agree to give to a partner." Analyst Jack Narcotta, with Technology Business Research, shrugs off the issue of Apple's being so proprietary and closed, saying that there are arguments to be made that Google is pretty closed, too. What's more noteworthy, he said, is their varied approaches.Although there's no telling what Apple could have planned for next week, we could have a good time guessing, said Narcotta. To a list of guesses he added maybe a "whole home audio system," or something that would enable people to access their iTunes libraries from different rooms. Or maybe movies in any room? "There's a lot of things Apple could do that lean on the things it already does very well," said Narcotta. "The hardware business is still performing well, given its scale, but the sneak attack is that iTunes is now almost a $5 billion business." He added, "What it comes down to is Apple looking for another way to get and keep users in its ecosystem." Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.
"Apple can say, 'Look at all the new things you can do with the iPhone that you already know and love. Look at how powerful this is as a home-computing device,'" said Narcotta. "Whereas, Google comes at it from the other way. Google says, 'Look at all of these services and features that are already a part of your digital life.' The device is the facilitator. While they are starting to care more about the device, it really is to showcase the services and platform."