As homebuilders are starting to include more smarthome devices in their new houses, Apple is looking to cash in by being the company providing the go-to devices for controlling them, Bloomberg reports. While homeowners may balk at paying $130 for two Phillips Hue lightbulbs or $229 for a Schlage smart deadbolt, Los Angeles-based KB Home is betting that new home buyers will be willing to pay a little extra for features like automated thermostats, lights, locks and security systems. Their basic package of HomeKit compatible devices costs $2,000, but that’s just the starting point. A $1.2 million home showcased by Lennar Corp. contains $30,000 worth of bells and whistles, and Apple is also working with other builders, like Brookfield Residential Properties Inc., who are declining to say when their smarthomes are going on sale or how much they’ll cost.
Consumers are on pace to buy an estimated $24 billion in smarthome devices this year, with that number expected to nearly double by 2020. As iPhone sales are slowing, Apple is looking for new ways to make its products more appealing, and its HomeKit platform could be a big selling point for new homeowners looking to control several smarthome devices from a single phone or tablet. “We want to bring home automation to the mainstream,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing. “The best place to start is at the beginning, when a house is just being created.” For those who are curious just how much control an iPhone can already give you over your home, be sure to check out our HomeKit reviews.