HomeKit debuted more than two years ago, and it has taken a lot of work to start being now the time when it seems that manufacturers are already deciding to create accessories compatible with Apple's “internet of things” control system. This delay is being criticized by many who see how Amazon, with much less time in this market, already has many more accessories compatible with Alexa and the entire system created around your Amazon Echo.
As always Apple is accused of unnecessary slowness, of putting too many demands to slow down the entire process until a brand manages to launch a HomeKit compatible device. Why so much difference between one and the other? The reason is only one: security. The strategies of both companies are very different, and while one seems to bet on security first, the other seems to have no more concern than to take over an expanding market..
Up to 6 months to get the HomeKit seal
For a door company to manufacture a certified HomeKit device from the zero minute Apple must be controlling the process. The first thing is to use a specific chip that only Apple sells and has a price of $ 2. They also have to use specific Bluetooth and WiFi components, and the entire manufacturing process must be supervised by Apple. Once all is finished, you must send the accessory to Cupertino to try it for a while before giving them the Ok and put it on sale with the HomeKit stamp. Throughout this process, a time ranging from 3 to 6 months can easily pass.
Amazon for its part is much laxer in its demands and the process only takes a few days. It is only necessary that the company that wants to manufacture the accessory write some code and send it to Amazon, who will approve in a few days. There is no special chip, there is no supervision by Amazon during the manufacturing process … nothing at all. Once the device is made, it is sent to an Amazon certified laboratory to give it the “Alexa compatible” seal and can now be put up for sale.
Amazon does not guarantee the safety of these accessories
Unlike Apple, Amazon does not guarantee the safety of these Alexa compatible accessories. It may not matter when we talk about a smoke detector, but what happens when we talk about a surveillance camera or a lock on the front door of our house? But it is that even the less transcendent accessories can be the gateway of hackers to our house, as we could see with the recent massive attack on the internet using precisely surveillance cameras and other “connected devices” that seemed totally harmless.
Quantity or security?
Amazon has more than 250 certified Alexa-compatible products, while Apple has less than half, about 100 products. The sales of the accessories of Alexa these past Christmas parties have been spectacular, and although those of the accessories compatible with HomeKit also continue to grow, they do it at a slower pace, partly because of lower availability and higher prices.
The question is clear: Put myself first in the market at any price? It is the strategy that Amazon seems to have chosen, and may work better than Apple's. Until one day a story appears showing that its accessories are not safe enough, and then we will see what solution they provide.
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