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Smart home drives ‘repetitive purchases’ of smart devices: TP-Link

Smart home drives ‘repetitive purchases’ of smart devices: TP-Link
Networking device maker TP-Link plans to introduce a series of new smart devices in the U.K. toward the end of the year, as the smart home market gained momentum in recent years, said the company’s U.K. country manager Will Liu at IFA 2017.

Among the new launches, the new Wi-Fi router doubles as a smart home gateway which can translate other transmission standards like Zigbee, so that devices communicating in Zigbee can talk to the router. The device is set to hit the market between October and December.

A new indoor Wi-Fi camera, set to be launched in December 2017, will share a platform with other smart devices, so that they can all be controlled from the same app, Liu said. There are also motion and door/window sensors planned to be unveiled in two months.

The company entered the smart home market in U.K. by first rolling out smart plugs. The product allows for remote appliance switching. It is TP-Link’s best seller in the country by far.

Also, the company has introduced smart light bulbs in the U.K. The product has as many as 16 million colors. It is controllable from everywhere via mobile app or through voice command, with Amazon Echo devices or Google Home. A gateway is not required to connect the light bulb to the speakers. Apple HomeKit integration is also under development and may become available as early as next year, Liu said.

Entering the market 2-3 years ago, TP-Link has the early mover advantage. “We were lucky to ride on the trend of smart home,” Liu said.

The smart home appears to have good potential. It has been growing “very rapidly,” by as high as 200-300% or more in the U.K., according to Liu. In regards to the reason for the surge, Liu said while the sale of TP-Link products rose steadily, the introduction of Amazon Alexa in the U.K. last September was a main reason.
Will Liu, Country Manager,
TP-Link UK

A good thing about selling smart devices is that it drives “repetitive purchase,” as consumers tend to buy more than one product, Liu said. “We see this in our cloud data. Within the TP-Link range, we know that customers start with a single device to test and that quickly grows into an ecosystem managed from our Kasa app on a phone or tablet. It’s also clear from the volume of sales that now there are skills available to integrate smart devices with intelligent personal assistants embedded into devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo, consumers are seeing the true value and convenience of this tech.”

The company distributes products mainly through retail, online purchase and professional resellers. From TP-Link’s standpoint, the U.K. and Germany are the top smart home markets in Europe. The advocacy and push by big brands, or platform providers, is critical to more smart home adoption, Liu noted.

TP-Link has seen “massive customer adoption” in the smart home market, Liu said, adding that it’s easy for consumers to see the practical benefits of a smart bulb, which justifies the slightly higher price tag. “We expect this trend to grow across Europe especially as the Smart Home category expands with new and innovative products coming to market.”

With more than 20 years’ experience developing networking products, TP-Link has built on that knowledge to develop a range of smart devices that work in the Wi-Fi environment as well as with Google Home and Amazon Echo. “We are one of the first brands to develop routers that come with security built in, so that all the devices connected to the home network are protected from malware and viruses under the HomeCare umbrella,” Liu added.

For year 2018, more devices like the smart camera KC120 and smart home router SR20 are going to the UK. The KC120 is also part of the Kasa ecosystem meaning that customers have the familiarity and convenience of managing all their TP-Link smart devices from a single interface on their phone or tablet. “The smart home router will not only include IFFFT functionality, it can be used to replace the proprietary hub required by some brands,” cited Liu.

Product Adopted:
Residential Security

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