Consumers Want Providers to Handle Smart Home App Set Up, Report Says

Research by Argus Insights finds consumers are frustrated by the complexity of setting up and maintaining smart home applications.

LOS GATOS, Calif. – Consumers continue to be frustrated by the complexity of setting up and maintaining smart home systems, according to Argus Insights’ new Smart Home 360 Report

The research firm, based here, said the report’s findings are based on the analysis of more than 56,000 app and device reviews that were posted by consumers in April. In addition to analysis of the market momentum of each of the major smart home categories, such as thermostats, security cameras, lighting and more, the report also includes ranking of the top device brands in each category.

Examining the reviews to learn how consumers are using the apps shows a significant difference between service providers and DIY experiences.

Customers of service providers focus three times more on home security than DIY customers, according to the report. DIY users identify climate control as their preferred smart home application. When home security is excluded, the relative ranking of smart home uses is largely the same.

“We see smart home adoption being driven by three factors: fear, fun and function. For service providers, the fear factor drives home security as the key reason for purchase and use,” says John Feland, CEO, Argus Insights. “DIY consumers blend function and fear, with climate control being typically the gateway smart home experience.”

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The research firm said the app and device reviews showed ADT and Suddenlink are the least liked of MSOs and service providers and their associated apps saw a drop in both the tone and volume of feedback over the last month. Vivint’s Sky app, Cox Communications’ Homelife app, Xfinity Home app and’s app all trended up, an impact of both new releases and subscriber growth, according to the Argus.

Argus said Vivint remains the most popular service provider for smart home apps while Xfinity Home saw gains after an app update addressed customer issues with stability and remote access of camera feeds.

“While some people enjoy the challenge of setting up their own devices, our data shows that delight comes when the consumer is relying on service providers – at least for now – to do all the installations and connecting,” Feland says. “The continued dominance of Vivint, and significant improvements by Xfinity demonstrate the impact of proactively engaging with customers on improving the user experience.”

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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