Apple Reportedly to Intro Remote Control Services for Homes
NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple, according to a report, will use its WWDC to unveil a software platform that turns the iPhone into a remote for the home.Apple, at its Worldwide Developer Conference June 2, is expected to introduce a software platform that will turn its iPhone into a remote control for the home. The Financial Times reported the news May 26, adding that sources call the planned software a "big play" in the world of smart home technology and in Apple's plans to beat out Google and Samsung. Google moved into living rooms last July with the introduction of Chromecast, a dongle-based streaming-television solution, and then deeper into homes with its $3.2 billion purchase of Nest Labs, maker of the Nest smart thermostat, in January. It's now rumored to be considering buying Dropcam, a company that makes a WiFi-connected camera that records and streams to the cloud. Samsung, which for years has offered Smart TVs and a TV-specific app store, in January introduced Smart Home, a service that enables users to control their appliances (washing machines, refrigerators, etc.), smart TVs, smartphones and wearable devices through a single, integrated platform. A Device Control feature within Smart Home also allows consumers to use their smart TV or smartphone to control their lighting or air conditioning while they're in their homes or traveling.
Apple hasn't introduced a new product category since the iPad in 2010. For years now, there have been rumors of a coming Apple "iTV"—which reportedly would be accompanied by a planned "iRing," which would act as a controller, and an iWatch that could be used as a home controller, eliminating the need to carry a smartphone around the house, analyst Brian White, then with investment firm Topeka Capital, said in a April 2013 report.