Sam Jadallah, the ex-CEO of a smart lock firm that shut down just over 1 year ago, will now head Apple home initiatives. Apple acquired a startup named Pullstring recently that specializes in voice-enabled toys. This move could help the smartphone manufacturing giant become center of any connected living room. Apple has a wide range of products geared to home, including HomePod and HomeKit. While the former is a smart speaker with voice recognition abilities in addition to music and more for homes, the latter is a software service which can be connected to several third-party products. No comments from either Jadallah or Apple were available.
Jadallah has worked in several companies before. He previously ran a startup firm called Otto that made a lock worth $700 and was backed by Greylock, a venture firm. Also he has worked for over 10 years at Microsoft, in addition to having a stint in venture capital at the company called Mohr Davidow. Just 4 months after Otto launched the wonderfully designed lock with facilities for enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, it suspended all operations for the same. It is believed that a buyer backed out at the very last minute which led to the suspension of operations for that lock. Jadallah had earlier stated that about 70% of the early, initial team behind Otto had actually been poached from the ranks of Apple. The lock was even called ‘Apple of smart locks’.
It is still not clear if Jadallah will hire fresh new employees or bring his earlier workers with him. In the home division of Apple, there most likely are about 6 openings. But Apple faces stiff competition from rivals like Amazon and Alphabet, both of whom have already moved into the home sphere. Apple, Alphabet and Amazon all have a combination of software and hardware which controls everything from playing music to switching lights off and on using voice. Google Home and Amazon’s Echo have better market shares as compared to Apple’s HomePod.