As with any product development process, there must be focus on materials, pricing and distribution. However, with products that depend on connecting to others to be viable, there is a lot more in that tricky network of delivery. With a smart home hub it's not only connecting with the products, but making them secure. It will be difficult for Apple to solve all of these challenges any time soon.

If you’re planning to build a smart home around Apple’s HomeKit platform, be prepared for higher prices, more clutter, and fewer choices than other platforms.

That’s because unlike competitors such as SmartThings and Wink, Apple doesn’t support the most popular smart home wireless protocols through a central connection hub. Instead, some HomeKit products such as smart light bulbs and dimmers require their own bridge hardware to connect with Apple devices, adding cost and complexity. And because of Apple’s security requirements for third-party HomeKit bridges, some companies may charge more for HomeKit-compatible hardware or avoid the platform entirely.

All of these problems could theoretically be solved by an official HomeKit hub, capable of managing multiple smart home devices through a single connection point. But for Apple, following other smart home players into the hub business would also bring trade-offs in complexity and functionality. As we approach the third anniversary of Apple’s HomeKit announcement–and the company’s WWDC conference, which could bring HomeKit news, approaches–it’s worth revisiting whether a HomeKit hub really makes sense for Apple.

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