Navigant Research Blog

Continual Change for the Smart Homes Market

Krystal Maxwell — May 19, 2017

The smart homes market, an important segment of the broader Internet of Things (IoT) market, is continuing to develop through partnerships, acquisitions from a variety of incumbents, and startups with point solutions. 2016 saw many acquisitions in the IoT market, and 2017 seems to be just as promising. With the number of partnerships, acquisitions, and new offerings, it’s clear the smart homes market will also continue to thrive. While there are many new players, the market is seeing consolidation through these partnerships and acquisitions. This consolidation may encourage further development of the smart homes market by mitigating issues such as interoperability—a barrier to adoption.

Expansion through Acquisitions and Partnerships

One of the most recent acquisitions in this market is the purchase of iDevices by Hubbell, an international electrical manufacturer. Hubbell offers a range of solutions for residential, commercial, industrial, and utility applications. iDevices, a smart homes company founded in 2010, has a number of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled products for connected power, lighting, and climate control—including a connected thermostat, lighting sockets, and dimmable, color-tunable, and scheduled lighting. The acquisition will allow Hubble to further its offerings in the smart home and IoT market by leveraging iDevices’ products, which are compatible with the Apple HomeKit and Amazon Echo.

Rather than an acquisition, Vivint Smart Home—a smart home solutions provider—is looking to grow sales of its offerings via increased adoption through a partnership with Best Buy. The partnership will allow Vivint to sell smart home products in 400 Best Buy stores. It also includes placement of a Vivint employee within each of the stores to better assist customers. This is the first time Vivint Smart Home solutions will be sold within brick-and-mortar stores. Vivint hopes the new aspect of its business will help alleviate one of the largest barriers to adoption of smart home devices: lack of consumer knowledge.

Creating Competitive Advantage

In the quickly growing smart homes market, it is important to gain and maintain a competitive edge. Smart homes vendors are working to differentiate themselves by creating a unique value proposition. The largest companies are working to further expand into the space and maintain market share through acquisitions. On the other hand, smaller companies are looking toward partnerships with larger players like Amazon Echo and Apple HomeKit.

Within the smart homes ecosystem, connected lighting plays a significant role. A recent report, Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Residential Connected Lighting, analyzes the companies that currently have residential connected lighting offerings available on the market. Thanks to partnerships, acquisitions, and integrated offerings, these companies gain an advantage in the smart homes and broader IoT markets.

Through evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of these products, it is clear the companies that will continue to grow are those that have created a strong value proposition. As smart home applications gain more traction, it is vital for survival that companies continue to uniquely position themselves in this shifting landscape.

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