Apple smart home push hits cost-cutting snag just as the Matter race speeds up

Apple HomePod 2
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple is said to be delaying plans to make a renewed push into the smart home space in an effort to cut spending across the company, a new report states.

In Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, the Apple tipster states that a number of new product projects have “been pushed back until next year at the earliest,” as the company moves to strengthen its finances in a challenging financial environment.

These allegedly include a screen-equipped HomePod product to follow up the HomePod 2, and potentially a faster Apple TV 4K and docking station for iPads — all primed for controlling the HomeKit gear like the best smart lights.

This would be unfortunate timing for Apple, given the current roll-out of the new Matter smart home standard that its competitors in the space are capitalizing on — a new brand-agnostic inter-device smart home communication system that will effectively allow any connected home product that supports it to speak to any other Matter-supporting product. Unlike previous similar attempts to unify the world’s disparate smart home systems, Matter finally seems to have the support of all the major players, and looks to ignite fresh consumer interest in the smart home proposition.

Mo’ money, mo’ problems

Apple is making these cuts in an effort to avoid the layoffs that other tech companies like Meta, Microsoft, and Amazon are having to endure at the moment, with tens of thousands of job cuts hitting the tech sector.

Compared to its Silicon Valley counterparts, Apple was cautious over hiring during the pandemic, an approach that’s served it well in the long term given the inevitable economic downturn that was set to follow the surge in home-working consumer tech interest. Unavoidable world events like the war in Ukraine and spiking interest rates haven’t helped either.

The Cupertino company’s belt-tightening will extend beyond product delays too. Corporate bonuses are to be delayed, travel allowances have been cut, and open roles will not be immediately filled. Budget sign-offs are under more scrutiny than previously according to Gurman, too.

With a war chest still comfortably tipping the scales at $165 billion, it wouldn’t be a great PR look for Apple to push for mass redundancies. So a prudent, slowed approach to launches may be more commonly seen in the near future.

Gerald Lynch
Editor in Chief

Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 15 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. 


Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar, Space.com, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews, Mirror.co.uk, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.