Apple's falling behind Google and Amazon in the smart home race

Google and Amazon are both going all out to dominate the smart home market - while Google recently brought out its new smart display, Google Home Hub, Amazon announced roughly 70 Alexa-enabled devices one month prior. 

And Apple? Apple brought out its first smart speaker, the Apple HomePod in February this year, and hasn't mentioned any new smart devices since then. Siri, Apple's voice assistant, also hasn't received any major updates.

That looks like it's causing the brand big problems in terms of its foothold in the smart home market, with CEO of market research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Michael Levin, telling CNET that, "Apple isn't in danger of falling behind. They have already fallen way behind."

It's not over yet

Its rivals stealing a march in the smart home arena could lead to some people might think that it's not possible to use a Google- or Amazon-powered smart speaker with an iPhone, which could have a detrimental effect on iPad or iPhone sales.

In reality an Android or iPhone device will be able to interact with a smart speaker equally as well, and in the case of Apple's efforts if the speaker has Siri baked in too will be able to function as a multi-room option.

If Apple were to allow Android devices to control its HomePod, for instance, it might get a much wider audience for it's smart ecosystem - the fact it hasn't done that might hint that being in the race with Google and Amazon isn't the main priority for the brand.

Still, it may not be too late for Apple to catch up - the digital home industry is really in its infancy, and one big innovation from the tech giant could be all it takes to edge it into pole position. 

Knowing the resources Apple commands, that's not outside the realms of possibility - but it needs to come up with the idea soon.


Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.