Apple Tipped To Enter TV & Home Automation Market

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With speculation mounting that Apple is set to enter the home automation market with a suite of new software and an Apple TV, CEDIA members and professional home installers could be the big beneficiaries say analysts, while Companies like Crestron, AMX and Control4 will suffer.

UBS analyst Maynard Um said that the move into home automation could expand the capitalisation of Apple who is currently witnessing a softening in demand for their iPhones.

Speculation has also emerged that Apple is working with Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers to launch an Apple TV range that will deliver IP content direct from the Apple iTunes store.

These say observers could emerge in mid-2012 when Intel is tipped to launch a new processor designed specifically for use in TVs. The processor will deliver the power and processing capability needed to deliver content and web based applications to a TV screen.

If an Apple TV is launched it will be a major blow to Sony and to Google who are banking on several vendors picking up their Google TV offering which is currently undergoing a major makeover after falling at the first hurdle when launched last year in partnership with Sony and Logitech.

The concept of Apple delivering content to a TV, iPad and iPhone coupled with software that allows consumers to manage devices, music and video, lighting and wireless audio makes sense claims Um.

In a recent note to investors, Um urges Apple to look to new opportunities for growth, which in the past has been fuelled by “taking a bite out of handset and PC companies”.

Home automation would be one of those growth areas, along with Apple TVs and professional installation he said.

Um claims that Apple will train a squad of Genius Bar road warriors called the Genius Squad to install TV’s and connected devices.

Apple has already spoken to some sound partners about the concept of distributed audio over a wireless network in the home. They have also looked at what is needed to deliver integration for lighting and energy management systems claim several sources.

Um suggests that Apple don’t create a DIY or standalone home automation system, but rather something that would be part of the Apple ecosystem.

 “We say this must follow on to a Genius Squad service as the installation of home automation products is likely to be too complicated for the average (and possibly even the above-average) consumer to install.”

Already Companies like Push Controls are delivering Apple based home automation software that controls home entertainment systems, lighting while delivering environmental control benefits.

With the addition of IP Cameras, users can control their security with Push Control software information delivered to an iPad or iPhone anywhere in the world.

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