Apple doesn’t officially attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but that doesn’t mean its presence isn’t felt. The company clearly feels like it’s just too good to deign to grace CES with its presence, and clearly other companies have learned over the years that it pays to imitate Apple.
Apple still provides the basis for other products
From Apple Watch knockoffs made by Chinese companies to apps and gadgets built on Apple’s HomeKit API, it’s clear how massive an impact the company is making on wearables and the so-called “Internet of Things.” And that’s in spite of Apple’s late entry into the market, which is already filled with a variety of smartwatches and connected gadgets.
In a report dated Jan. 9, 2015, Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes and his team offered highlights about some of the Apple-related themes they saw at CES this year. They reported that many of the items competitors introduced appeared to be directly targeting current Apple products or even products the company may one day put out but hasn’t yet.
They found that many companies put out some products that are built on Apple’s HomeKit API, which was introduced last year at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC). HomeKit is Apple’s platform for home-based automation. A number of other companies also revealed plans to integrate products with Apple’s CarPlay. Of course both of these two products are Apple’s way of trying to insert the iPhone into every part of consumers’ daily lives.
How Apple can benefit from other companies’ efforts
In addition to other companies trying to benefit from Apple’s popularity, Apple itself also stands to gain, according to the Barclays team. In particular, they see opportunities for Apple in the connected home category.
“We are particularly intrigued by innovations in consuming media and content, which seems to be backing the ‘unbundling’ trend that could augment Apple’s role in the living room eventually,” they wrote in their note.
They called Apple’s upcoming product cycles “interesting,” especially the Apple Watch, which is expected to be released in the next few months. They note that part of the appeal of the smartwatch is the apps developers create for it, so in this way, Apple is really dependent on third-party developers.