Important acquisition of a multinational in the middle of August. A few hours ago we know that Amazon has bought iRobot, the company behind the popular Roomba. The operation has cost 1,700 million dollars, which is said soon, and confirms that Amazon wants to be in each and every one of the corners of our home.
In 2018, Amazon already had that strategy clear by buying Ring, the smart doorbell company. To these doorbells we add the Fire TV, the Echo, the future Astro and now the Roomba… all this with an Alexa that can control that entire network of devices.
This differs from Apple’s strategy of letting third-party manufacturers create accessories that are controlled via HomeKit. The company has that home automation platform, but it doesn’t have its own light bulbs, plugs or switches. There are rumors that this may change, but at the moment nothing more has been said about it.
But there is a secret weapon: Matter. This home automation standard will be integrated with HomeKit, with which our Apple devices will gain many more options for home automation. And Amazon is also going the way of Matter, so this purchase could mean that Roomba can be controlled with that standard and therefore with the Home app.
If we think of Apple as a competitor in this movement, then yes, Apple should take advantage of the pull of its accessories division and launch its own. And there are plenty of possibilities here for Apple to look to create its own home accessories. If they see it profitable in Cupertino, we could even have smart fansand if not tell Dyson.
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At the moment, although Apple does not have its own accessories (at least as of today), we can expect further integration of iRobot products on our iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Beyond that, we shouldn’t see any more changes, as iRobot will remain a company operating independently of Amazon even after the purchase.
Image | Onur Binay