Apple Hired ex-Microsoft exec Sam Jadallah to Look after Smart Home Business
Sam Jadallah, the former CEO of a smart lock company that shut down just over a year ago, has been hired by Apple. He will be leading the home initiatives at Apple, according to sources.
Hiring Jadallah gives the market a signal that Apple plans to get serious about its own efforts in the home. It should be noted that the company recently acquired a start-up called Pullstring, a start-up that specializes in voice-enabled toys. The acquisition could help the smartphone maker become the centre of a connected living room.
The news was broken after Jadallah updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect his new role with Apple.
Apple features a range of products geared to the home — including HomeKit, its software service that connects with a broad array of third-party products; and HomePod, a smart speaker for the home with voice recognition, music and more.
Comments from neither Apple nor Jadallah could be collected.
Previously Jadallah ran a start-up called Otto, which made a $700 lock that was backed by the venture firm Greylock. He had also worked at Microsoft for more than a decade and also had a stint in venture capital at the firm Mohr Davidow.
However, Otto suspended its operations four months after launching its beautifully-designed Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-enabled luxury lock. In some interviews, Jadallah said that Otto found a buyer, but it pulled out at the last minute.
Jadallah had previously said that almost 70 percent of the early team behind Otto was actually poached from Apple’s ranks. The lock was compared favorably by reviewers to the “Apple of smart locks.” It is not clear yet whether Jadallah will bring these early employees with him or will have a fresh mandate to hire. Currently, there are almost half-a-dozen job openings in Apple’s home division.
It should be noted that Apple is competing against rivals like Alphabet and Amazon, both of which have had a head start on moving into the home. All these companies have a combination of hardware and software that controls everything starting from turning lights on and off using voice, to playing music. With a comparison to Amazon’s Echo and Google Home, Apple’s Home Pod possesses a smaller share in the market.