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Apple to launch own HomeKit hardware?

Apple could be preparing to launch its own HomeKit smart home hardware to rival the likes of Nest and Hive.

HomeKit was announced at WWDC as a new smart home standard that brings existing home automation apps under one umbrella platform.

Similar to Apple’s “Made for iPhone/iPad” standard, HomeKit will serve as a seal of approval for existing smart home products like Tado.

“There are a lot of great home automation devices coming on the market these days and they have companion apps – things like lights and door locks, webcams, garage doors and thermostats,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior VP of Software Engineering. “But each of them have their own applications and they end up defining their own network protocol, their own security mechanism.”

“So we thought we could bring some rationality to this space.”

However, rumour has it that Apple is working on its own HomeKit hardware and according to the 9to5mac source, Apple is already beyond the “exploratory phase of development”.

The source claims Apple believes smart home products could be incredibly lucrative and whatever devices they are preparing are going to see “mainstream usage”.

It is possible that Apple may not launch a direct Nest competitor, but something more akin to the likes of a home control panel or in-built speaker system, which may tie in with the recent Beats acquisition.

It’s likely that Apple won’t launch its own hardware for quite some time, instead letting its HomeKit APIs work with existing names in the smart home space.

Instead, Apple will focus on introducing its new iPhone 6 later this year along with new iPads and Macs. Hopefully we should see the iWatch debut alongside the iPhone 6 in September, which wil take advantage of the new HealthKit APIs and go head to head with the new Android Wear smartwatches.

Read more: iOS 8 vs iOS 7 – What’s new?

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