Apple is readying a new software platform that would turn the iPhone into a remote control for lights, security systems and other household appliances, as part of a move into the "Internet of things."
Apple plans to take on rivals Google and Samsung and make a "big play" in the world of smart home technology at its Worldwide Developer Conference on June 2 in San Francisco, according to people familiar with the matter.
This will reinforce the view, held by some in Silicon Valley, that "Jetsons"-style home automation is the next frontier in technology as growth in smartphone sales begins to slow in developed markets.
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Apple's coming move follows Google's $3.2 billion acquisition in January of Nest Labs, makers of Internet-connected thermostats and smoke alarms, and Samsung's recent debut of its Smart Home range of refrigerators, washing machines and TVs that can be controlled from its smartphones and watches.