Apple snags former Microsoft exec to lead 'smart home' development

Apple has hired former Microsoft executive Sam Jadallah to lead its smart home business, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Five things to know:

1. Mr. Jadallah most recently served as the CEO of Otto, a smart lock startup that shut down just over a year ago. Before that, he spent more than a decade at Microsoft, where he served as a corporate vice president.

2. The new hire suggests Apple is looking to bolster its smart home efforts, which currently comprises products such as its software service HomeKit and its smart speaker HomePod. The technology giant also has about a half-dozen job openings in its home division.

3. Apple is competing against technology rivals such as Amazon and Google in the home space, both of which have a head start, according to CNBC. Apple's HomePod accounts for a small market share compared to Amazon's Echo and Google Home.

4. One area that technology giants have increasingly been eyeing as they build out their smart home products is senior healthcare, according to a separate CNBC report. Seniors are becoming more likely to live independently at home, rather than in assisted-living facilities, providing a new market opportunity. For example, Alphabet's smart-home division, Nest, is actively pitching its products to senior living facilities, and Amazon recently sent employees on a cross-country bus tour to investigate how to make its devices more helpful for elderly populations.

5. Apple and Mr. Jadallah declined CNBC's request for comment. However, Mr. Jadallah updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect his new role at Apple after CNBC broke news of his hire Feb. 16.

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