TP-Link cancels HomeKit plan for Kasa smart plug mini

Posted:
in General Discussion
Following previous pledges to support HomeKit in its Kasa range, TP-Link has now revealed that its popular accessory will not be updated to work with Apple's system.

TP-Link's Kasa Smart Plug Mini
TP-Link's Kasa Smart Plug Mini


Electronics manufacturer TP-Link will no longer bring HomeKit support to its Kasa Smart Plug Mini. Previously, the company had promised support when unveiling the range at CES in January 2019. At the same time, the company had also claimed that existing devices would be updated to work with HomeKit early in the year. However, following months of delays, TP-Link has now cancelled plans to support Apple's system.

The news has not been formally announced, but rather was spotted by a Reddit user in a company support FAQ document.

"Due to changes in our roadmap, the Kasa Smart Plug Mini (HS105) smart plug will not offer support for Apple HomeKit," says TP-Link's document.

"Despite the change in direction for this specific SKU," it continues, "our team is committed to the development of innovative smart home solutions that will continue to delight our customers around the globe."

The Kasa Smart Plug Mini was going to be a significant boost to HomeKit because of the company's deals with Amazon. The retailer periodically offered the plug for only $15 when bought with an Echo speaker, so Amazon's rival system would actually have brought HomeKit into more homes.

It's not known yet whether the company is abandoning HomeKit for all devices or solely for this one product. Nor are there any details about whether there will be any recourse for customers who bought the Kasa Smart Plug Mini in the expectation that HomeKit was coming.

AppleInsider has reached out to TP-Link for more details.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    Pre-announcing HomeKit support is a well-worn marketing device for IoT manufacturers that have little, if any, intention to deliver.
    At this stage it’s fair to label such companies as frauds, because there have been enough companies that had struggled or scaled back their HomeKit intentions to give pause to anyone that wants to legitimately launch such a feature.
    racerhomie3P-DogNCjbdragongutengelcornchiplolliver
  • Reply 2 of 43
    Be wary of buying anything based on a promised future upgrade.
    flyingdpstompyjbdragoncornchipStrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 3 of 43
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,066member
    I have seven TP-Link  smart plugs and three of their smart bulbs. So far the setup and app (Android and iOS) have been fairly stable. Without a Google Home device however, Google Assistant set-up can be really troublesome. Almost as if Google deliberately hides the option hoping you will opt for a Google Home product. They are also Alexa certified but I don't have any Echo devices.

    They are only 2.4Ghz and for some reason, the option for 'remote' control was dropped from the app so I think that feature is permanently 'on' now.

    Overall, they have worked well but I have had to re-pair a couple of the plugs.

    Of course, the real issue is how long they will be supported because without the app the whole set-up will fail and if they get hacked or suffer some kind of major outage it might be a major inconvenience.
    P-DogNCroundaboutnow
  • Reply 4 of 43
    ivanhivanh Posts: 372member
    Very good. You don’t need to surrender your Wi-Fi password to Kasa Smart whose servers are hosted in the Communist Party China.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 43
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,125member
    Pre-announcing HomeKit support is a well-worn marketing device for IoT manufacturers that have little, if any, intention to deliver.
    At this stage it’s fair to label such companies as frauds, because there have been enough companies that had struggled or scaled back their HomeKit intentions to give pause to anyone that wants to legitimately launch such a feature.
    Companies that are in the business of making money always have to adapt to market demands. There's nothing fraudulent about cutting your losses and bailing out of a venture that does not appear to have the kind of downstream profitability that guided your original intentions to jump into the market. It's called being smart and being data-driven and overcoming emotional inertia.  
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 6 of 43
    You make a good point, but i counter with:

    Legal Definition of false advertising

    the crime or tort of publishing, broadcasting, or otherwise publicly distributing an advertisement that contains an untrue, misleading, or deceptive representation or statement which was made knowingly or recklessly and with the intent to promote the sale of property, goods, or services to the public
    P-DogNCjbdragoncornchip
  • Reply 7 of 43
    dewme said:
    Pre-announcing HomeKit support is a well-worn marketing device for IoT manufacturers that have little, if any, intention to deliver.
    At this stage it’s fair to label such companies as frauds, because there have been enough companies that had struggled or scaled back their HomeKit intentions to give pause to anyone that wants to legitimately launch such a feature.
    Companies that are in the business of making money always have to adapt to market demands. There's nothing fraudulent about cutting your losses and bailing out of a venture that does not appear to have the kind of downstream profitability that guided your original intentions to jump into the market. It's called being smart and being data-driven and overcoming emotional inertia.  
    It’s perfectly fine for businesses to change their product plans provided they have not announced them on a shipping product (or a product consumers have been able to irretrievably commit the funds.). However if they have announced such features, then consumers who purchased the product in anticipation of the delivery of those features can be entitled to sue for damages under consumer protection laws of false advertising. (As common with bait and switch.) The case would depend on whether or not the company gave certainty that the feature would be delivered such that a consumer who purchased the product could have reasonably expected that the feature would be delivered. Additionally even competitor businesses can sue the company for any losses they can prove due to customers not buying their own product in favour of one that was falsely being advertised as superior for reasons that were not true.

    So no, the statement you’ve made about a company switching plans due to poor sales or otherwise is not a legitimate defence against false advertising claims. I.E. It is fraudulent behaviour and so it is merely a matter of those at a loss to take action.
    edited August 12 P-DogNCStrangeDaysnomadmaclolliver
  • Reply 8 of 43
    dewme said:
    Pre-announcing HomeKit support is a well-worn marketing device for IoT manufacturers that have little, if any, intention to deliver.
    At this stage it’s fair to label such companies as frauds, because there have been enough companies that had struggled or scaled back their HomeKit intentions to give pause to anyone that wants to legitimately launch such a feature.
    Companies that are in the business of making money always have to adapt to market demands. There's nothing fraudulent about cutting your losses and bailing out of a venture that does not appear to have the kind of downstream profitability that guided your original intentions to jump into the market. It's called being smart and being data-driven and overcoming emotional inertia.  
    Eh, it’s called fraudulent practice at worst and patently dishonest opportunism at best. Such companies want access to the insanely large base of iOS and MacOS users and promise “future” HomeKit support to snag sales. HomeKit users wouldn’t purchase their products without at least such a feature “promise”. Many, in fact, bought Ring devices because of just such a promise. Almost 3 years (and an Amazon takeover later) and Ring has yet to issue its advertised HomeKit capability. Even after the Amazon takeover, Ring kept responding publicly to queries on their blog and twitter feed they were still “working on a HomeKit feature roll-out”. That is also fraudulent - just another attempt to entrap unknowing Apple users. SimpliSafe teased the same promise for their system over 18 months ago, with still no HomeKit available today. These are but just two examples. For companies who fraudulently make a specific HomeKit feature promise, such as TP-Link, they should offer their dupes/marks/suckers/victims a full refund for whichever “HomeKit” SKU they purchased, once it is obvious (or admitted) that HomeKit capability will never be delivered. This marketing behavior is known as “bait and switch” and there are laws in place to guard against this FRAUDULENT practice.
    edited August 12 jbdragoncornchipStrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 9 of 43
    ivanh said:
    Very good. You don’t need to surrender your Wi-Fi password to Kasa Smart whose servers are hosted in the Communist Party China.
    So this company is Chinese?
  • Reply 10 of 43
    matrix077 said:
    ivanh said:
    Very good. You don’t need to surrender your Wi-Fi password to Kasa Smart whose servers are hosted in the Communist Party China.
    So this company is Chinese?
    Yes, TP-Link is Mainland Chinese.
    jbdragoncornchipmatrix077StrangeDays
  • Reply 11 of 43
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 429member
    I have spent more than a little time using, working with and helping set up smart home systems and Apple HomeKit is behind and risks falling further behind. 

    Lots of stuff that supports Google and Amazon, but not HomeKit or not fully or whatever. With Apple’s financial and engineering resources this simply should not be the case.
    JWSCnomadmac
  • Reply 12 of 43
    aieronimo said:
    matrix077 said:
    ivanh said:
    Very good. You don’t need to surrender your Wi-Fi password to Kasa Smart whose servers are hosted in the Communist Party China.
    So this company is Chinese?
    Yes, TP-Link is Mainland Chinese.

    Good to know. Want as less Chinese electronic products in my home as possible. You never know..
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 13 of 43
    davgreg said:
    I have spent more than a little time using, working with and helping set up smart home systems and Apple HomeKit is behind and risks falling further behind. 

    Lots of stuff that supports Google and Amazon, but not HomeKit or not fully or whatever. With Apple’s financial and engineering resources this simply should not be the case.
    Apple should pull HomeKit out of iOS the way Apple Pay team operates independently of Craig’s. I think Craig has more than he can chew right now. 
    JWSC
  • Reply 14 of 43
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,298member
    No HomeKit, no point, no buy. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 15 of 43
    aieronimo said:
    matrix077 said:
    ivanh said:
    Very good. You don’t need to surrender your Wi-Fi password to Kasa Smart whose servers are hosted in the Communist Party China.
    So this company is Chinese?
    Yes, TP-Link is Mainland Chinese.
    I'm not really arguing with you, but a company with a physical presence in country X does not necessarily mean that they are incorporated in country X. For example, Foxconn has its factories in mainland China but it's not a Chinese company - it's Taiwanese. And yet the press usually calls them a "Chinese company."
    lolliver
  • Reply 16 of 43
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,958member
    ivanh said:
    Very good. You don’t need to surrender your Wi-Fi password to Kasa Smart whose servers are hosted in the Communist Party China.
    Nice conspiracy theory you got there!   Very Nice!
  • Reply 17 of 43
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,918member
    P-DogNC said:
    dewme said:
    Pre-announcing HomeKit support is a well-worn marketing device for IoT manufacturers that have little, if any, intention to deliver.
    At this stage it’s fair to label such companies as frauds...
    Companies that are in the business of making money always have to adapt to market demands. There's nothing fraudulent about cutting your losses and bailing out of a venture...
    Eh, it’s called fraudulent practice at worst and patently dishonest opportunism at best...
    ...they should offer their dupes/marks/suckers/victims a full refund for whichever “HomeKit” SKU they purchased, once it is obvious (or admitted) that HomeKit capability will never be delivered. This marketing behavior is known as “bait and switch” and there are laws in place to guard against this FRAUDULENT practice.


    It’s perfectly fine for businesses to change their product plans provided they have not announced them on a shipping product (or a product consumers have been able to irretrievably commit the funds.). However if they have announced such features, then consumers who purchased the product in anticipation of the delivery of those features can be entitled to sue for damages under consumer protection laws of false advertising. (As common with bait and switch.) The case would depend on whether or not the company gave certainty that the feature would be delivered such that a consumer who purchased the product could have reasonably expected that the feature would be delivered.

    I.E. It is fraudulent behaviour and so it is merely a matter of those at a loss to take action.
    Are you sure? What about Airpower and people who bought iPhones/Apple Watches in anticipation that Apple would be shipping it within a matter of weeks? Seems like if that were factual there would have been yet another class-action since lawyers seem to look for any reason to file one. 
    edited August 12
  • Reply 18 of 43
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,958member
    matrix077 said:
    aieronimo said:
    matrix077 said:
    ivanh said:
    Very good. You don’t need to surrender your Wi-Fi password to Kasa Smart whose servers are hosted in the Communist Party China.
    So this company is Chinese?
    Yes, TP-Link is Mainland Chinese.

    Good to know. Want as less Chinese electronic products in my home as possible. You never know..
    Do you plan to sell your iPhone or just scrap it?
    davgreg
  • Reply 19 of 43
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,958member
    tbsteph said:
    Be wary of buying anything based on a promised future upgrade.
    In this case it's kind of a moot point because, without a HomeKit code, it will never connect to HomeKit.

    I got nailed on that a few months back:  I bought 2 identical LifX bulbs from Best Buy but one turned out to be an earlier release that did not have the Homekit code -- so it could not be connected to HomeKit.   (I saw something from LifX about connecting it their app to get the code, but that defeats the purpose:  I didn't want to connect it to anything but HomeKit.)    I returned it to BestBuy and they were perplexed:  EVERYTHING about the 2 bulbs (Product Numbers, etc.) were identical -- but one was just from an earlier non-HomeKit compatible release.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    Easy mnemonic for TP Link: "Terminates Promises".
    cornchipnomadmac
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