When the Matter smart home project was announced, manufacturers of smart products for the home were all ablaze. But no sooner has the rollout of the new standard begun than the first company, Belkin, pulls out.
Belkin withdraws for the time being
Since October 2022, the Matter smart home standard has been officially available. Thereby, the joy was great in the fall of last year, both on the part of the end customers and the manufacturers. After all, the standard should primarily provide for simplification in the connection of various smart little helpers within a household. With the SwitchBot Hub 2 (test), we were recently able to take a closer look at the Matter premiere of a popular manufacturer. But before the new standard was even allowed to start its triumphant march, the first well-known manufacturer is already getting out – Belkin. The company developed its own product line, called Wemo, especially for the new connection standard. However, this was withdrawn from the market at the drop of a hat.
However, according to Jen Wei, vice president of global communications and corporate development at Belkin, the withdrawal is said to have nothing to do with not having faith in the standard. Quite the contrary. Wei believes that “Matter will have a significantly positive impact on the smarthome industry.” Still, the company apparently wants to go in a different direction. According to Wen, the withdrawal is also associated with a new formation, as it were. Only when an agreement has been reached on the future strategy could new smart home products follow from Wemo. These could then possibly also support Matter again. The goal, he said, is to design gadgets that stand out from the competition in the marketplace.
Matter makes for stronger competition
Belkin’s goal of creating products that stand out from the competition makes one sit up and take notice. Indeed, here lies a problem that hovers over what is actually a thoroughly positive idea for Matter. The fact that the connection standard ensures standardization on the market means that customers no longer have to buy all gadgets from one and the same manufacturer. Instead, Matter enables a colorful mix in the home, which in turn stirs up fears of the competition. If the only thing that matters is that a device is compatible with Matter, the price is the main factor that determines which product is ultimately purchased by the customer.
Accordingly, Belkin and Wemo are brainstorming for the time being before they celebrate their comeback in the Matter family. Possibly Belkin was only the beginning. After all, the problem of competition is likely to be the undoing of small companies in particular. However, if Matter continues its triumphant march, it will no longer be possible to launch a product on the market in a few months that does not support the standard. The fact that there are now a few gadgets that can be used to easily assemble a smart Matter device should also cause sleepless nights for manufacturers. We are curious to see what the reaction will be within the smart home industry.