Sam Jadallah, head of Apple Home Services, left the company last week after leading part of Apple's smart home initiatives for two years.
Jadallah announced his departure on LinkedIn, where he said it was "a treat to be an entrepreneur at Apple and create scale products." Based on some of his tweets, Jadallah worked on digital key-related projects, such as Apple iOS 15's recent effort to add HomeKit-enabled lock keys to the Wallet app.
Apple has hired Jadallah since 2019, and its hiring has made headlines because it was brought in from Microsoft to improve Apple's work on HomeKit-compatible devices. Jadallah previously worked at Microsoft and, before joining Apple, led the Otto luxury smart lock company.
When Jadallah was hired, many saw this as a sign of Apple's effort to push more into the home space. Apple has developed its HomeKit protocol and worked on home devices such as the HomePod for many years, but continues to lag behind companies such as Amazon and Google, especially in the smart speaker department.
In the two years since Jadallah was hired, Apple has introduced several new "HomeKit" initiatives. In addition to expanding the functionality of the digital Wallet application, Apple also added support for Thread, worked on the introduction of Matter and introduced new "HomeKit" features, such as HomeKit Secure Video.
It is unclear why Jadallah is leaving Apple or what he intends to do in the future, nor how his departure from Apple's home services team will affect him. Apple seems to be in the middle of a reorientation on its efforts at home, and with the launch of the new MacBook Pro models, Apple has redesigned its website to group the TV & Home categories.
Apple aims for a total living room strategy that will eventually see HomePod and Apple TV combined into a single device that can be used to control smart devices at home, entertainment, communication and more.
Recent reports have suggested that Apple is struggling with its hardware strategy, which could affect home services in the future. Apple's engineering team is pessimistic about the future of Apple TV, a key component of Apple's current smart home ecosystem. Like omeHomePod, Apple is struggling to get people interested in ppApple TV, with many consumers choosing more affordable decoders from companies such as Roku and Amazon.
Apple's plan to combine omeHomePod and Apple TV into a single device as a single point of control at home could change things, but we'll have to wait and see how the strategy unfolds after the planned launch of the product in 2023.
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