So far, most Internet of Things-themed innovation has stemmed from many different companies, but, surprisingly, not from the two that will inevitably end up deeply involved in this important market: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL).
Sure, there have been some rumblings. Google announced an acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest, and both Apple and Google have launched platforms for smart vehicles. Also, Google launched Android Wear to grab its share of the wearables category. But Apple's and Google's move to connected devices is surprisingly slow considering the tools at these tech giants' disposal.
But it is inevitable. Google and Apple are bound to become key leaders in the space. And we may soon be able to confirm that Apple is ready to get deeply involved. Apple may be making a "big play" as early as this weekend at the Worldwide Developer Conference by launching a new software platform for smart home technology, according to the Financial Times.
Apple wants in on your home
There's no way around it: The tech world is ready to make products that connect your home to the Internet. This is the fundamental idea of a "smart home." It's likely one of most visible opportunities in the fast-growing Internet of Things revolution.
Apple can't help but carve out a space for itself with the company's emphasis on the customer experience of its gadgets. With an increasing number of connected devices, early control in the market could have big implications later on. Specifically, it could help Apple make its ecosystem of products even "stickier."
Sure enough, one of the key driving forces behind Apple's smart home platform seems to be the user experience. The platform's integration with iDevices will make it easier for users to set up and control connected home devices, FT author Tim Bradshaw explains. Even more, Bradshaw says that one of his sources familiar with Apple's plans asserts the company will "emphasize the privacy protections built into its smart home system," a key advantage Apple has over Google's Android given the degree of control Apple has in user experience.
Of course, the main reason Apple wants more control of these important new aspects of the digital customer experience is because it will give customers more reasons to buy Apple products. By offering an increasingly robust and integrated ecosystem of hardware, software, and services backed by the Apple brand, customers have a greater reason to stay loyal to Apple. This phenomenon is often referred to as Apple's halo effect: a carefully constructed ecosystem often means a purchase of one Apple product leads to another.
Apple's potential move into the smart home space is another reason investors should hold on to their shares. The company's economic moat built on a foundation of simple and user-friendly integration continues to widen, keeping competitors at bay and customers coming back.
Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple and Google (A and C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.