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Smarter Homes, Smarter Cars, Smarter People

NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: The Internet of Things (“IoT”) has evolved over the last couple decades, weaving its way into daily life by providing increased utility and functionality for everyday items. Broadly speaking, IoT refers to the overarching technology that connects physical items (e.g., refrigerators, door locks, HVAC) to the internet so they can be controlled from a mobile or desktop app to provide real-time controls and data analysis. Delivering convenience and savings, many of these interconnected devices have become readily available and affordable with an estimated 46 billion connected devices in the world today. That may sound like a lot, but the nascent market is quickly expanding, creating plenty of opportunity for innovative companies such as SPYR Inc. (OTCQB: SPYR) (Profile) to capture market share by leveraging the platforms of tech giants such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), which will all continue to benefit from an interconnected global economy booming with connected devices.

  • Statista sees the smart-home market surging more than 70% in four years from $91 billion in 2020 to $159 billion in 2024.
  • SPYR is in the sweet spot with its Applied Magix Inc. subsidiary, which develops and resells Apple(R)-ecosystem-compatible products.
  • Applied Magix is 100% focused on marketing products that integrate with the Apple HomeKit and CarPlay, a large overlooked market segment.
  • Applied Magix has launched several popular products, including MagixDrive, innovative tech that turns wired CarPlay systems into wireless setups.

Revolutionizing the Way We Live

Smart devices abound today to the point that they’ve grown from the idea of a single piece of equipment to that of smart homes, smart cities, smart facilities and more; these smart networks are merely a compilation of many devices unified in utility through a single app. Driven by an incessant quest for convenience, security, efficiency, automation and data, the technology has permeated into everyday life where devices are anticipating needs and reacting to habits without being told what to do.

The numbers around the smart market are eye popping. The connected car market is forecast to grow from $54 billion in 2020 to $166 billion in 2025. The global smart-home security cameras market alone is forecast by Grand View Research to grow 15.7% annually and reach $11.89 billion by 2027. The global market for all smart devices in a home is forecast by Statista to advance from $91 billion in 2020 to $159 billion in 2024. There was good reason Amazon shelled out $1 billion in 2018 to buy Ring, a smart-doorbell company rejected on Shark Tank. The strategic buyout wasn’t just about the technology, it was for quick access into the burgeoning smart-home market as evermore consumers seek to control their homes wirelessly.

SPYR Inc. (OTCQB: SPYR) made a strategic acquisition of its own to enter the smart-home market, buying Applied Magix Inc., a registered Apple developer and reseller of Apple ecosystem compatible products. Bringing Applied Magix under the SPYR umbrella accelerated the parent company’s push into the smart-device market. SPYR is now laser focused on smart-home and smart-car opportunities, specifically users of Apple CarPlay and Apple HomeKit.

While most tech companies take a broad, “we market to everyone” approach, SPYR and Applied Magix are highly selective and target only device users. Fact is, with an ecosystem consisting of more than 1 billion iPhone users and 1.65 billion devices in use in total (as of January 2021), the population of customers of the world’s biggest tech company is massive on its own without worrying about catering to Android users. It is well known that Apple users are some of the most passionate of any brand, willing to pay up for Apple quality and seamless integration of their complete ecosystem.

One Savvy Move: Solve Apple’s Problem

SPYR is positioned to profit from the lucrative and expanding connected home and car markets by attaching its products to the undisputed market leader in terms of profit metrics and the most loyal and affluent customer base. While Apple has launched its HomeKit, its staunch fidelity to iPhones, iPads, Macs and its entertainment services have historically kept product development in the HomeKit portfolio relatively scant, allowing competitors, namely Google and Amazon, to win countertop space and other locations in homes for smart devices.

The solution is to create smart hardware and software products exclusively for Apple consumers. Applied Magix’s first product, branded MagixDrive, is a wireless adapter for Apple CarPlay that turns a wired CarPlay installation into a premium wireless experience. MagixDrive makes it possible for people to enjoy all the perks of CarPlay, including navigation, apps, music, streaming services and Siri voice commands in a car without ever having to plug their phones to a cable again.

This is a golden opportunity for Applied Magix to become front and center with Apple users, capture market share and create a loyal following. CarPlay, which integrates an iPhone into a car’s infotainment screen, took the world by storm when Apple launched it in 2014 and is now supported in more than 80% of new cars worldwide. As with other Apple products, users love it, as evidenced by a 2018 Strategy Analytics survey that showed 34% of CarPlay users exclusively use the technology when in the vehicle.

Genius in Targeting the Affluent & Loyal

Leveraging Applied Magix’s status as a registered Apple developer to introduce an Apple HomeKit-focused brand can bear immediate returns, especially since Apple has long been revered for the extreme loyalty of its customers. In the consumer goods industry, there are few things more important than loyal customers because those customers can turn into brand ambassadors. Nobody does this better than Apple. According to a report from research group CIRP last year, Apple maintained a smartphone-user loyalty rate of more than 90% for the past three years. To lend some perspective, Samsung was second with less than 70% retention, followed by Motorola around 40%.

Additional market research by Coldwell Banker and Consumer Affairs shows that Apple users tend to be more affluent when compared to Android users. And it’s not even close, considering data showing the average iOS user earns $53,000 annually and spends $1,212 each year on tech, versus $37,000 and $612 respectively for Android users. Research also discovered that Apple customers are willing to spend more than $3,000 on smart-home products.

Nationwide Commercial Campaign, Product Bundle

Applied Magix is actively marketing its MagixDrive product through a commercial campaign currently running nationwide showing off the products benefits, including automatically connecting upon vehicle entry and the ability to use Apple Maps to locate the car. In addition to MagixDrive, the company has launched ancillary products in a bundle or sold separately that fit the connected-car market.

These options include MagixCharge, an ultrafast car charger (up to 60% faster than standard chargers) that provides 30 watts of power across two USB type-C ports. The company is also marketing its MagixBlock data blocker, which attaches to an iPhone charging cable and plugs into a car’s USB port. The data blocker ensures that only power is transferred through the cable to keep the wireless connection uninterrupted. These products complement other products being shipped by Applied Magix, including a secure video camera with iCloud storage and a variety of sensors for doors, windows and motion.

Once branded in the Apple ecosystem, Applied Magix has a playbook for growth, including launching new products starting with a HomeKit-compatible camera. The plan is to upend the market by offering a high-end product at a “market-busting” price.

SPYR and Applied Magix management, including a newly formed advisory board, are initially setting their sights on Apple customers throughout North America and Europe, in other words, those with the largest profit potential, which should translate into corporate value. To reach these consumers, Applied Magix leverages strong relationships with third-party distributors and influencers of Apple consumer products.

They’re Everywhere: The Ubiquity of Smart Devices

It seems like yesterday that smart devices were novel gadgets, attention getters to show off to friends. Not anymore. Anyone who has been shopping for home devices lately realizes that more and more ovens, refrigerators and microwaves come complete with internet connectivity so a person can get dinner cooking before they even arrive home. Realistically, the market is still in its infancy, so there is ample headroom for companies of all sizes to prosper going forward.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is steadily advancing the usability of its HomeKit while servicing its lucrative services business and running the world’s behemoth of an app store. In its update reflecting upon 2021, Apple noted the power of its global platform to connect businesses of all sizes welcoming more than 600 million people each week across 175 countries. Ever scaling, the platform has led to developers selling digital goods and services earning more than $260 billion since the App Store launched in 2008.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) was building a presence in the smart-home space with its virtual assistance Cortana, until the company decided in 2020 to pare back the consumer-facing functionality of its product development to lean more heavily on the higher-margin enterprise component of its business. That doesn’t mean Cortana is out of the game, as Microsoft’s support site provides details on how to program different operating systems to enable a connected home.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is deep in the smart-device space. In addition to its prescient $1 billion acquisition of Ring, the ecommerce juggernaut offers a wide array of connected consumer goods, including its popular Fire Stick that turns any television into a smart TV where people can use apps and, not surprisingly, order shows produced by Amazon. Other products include smart audio sunglasses, smart camera, smart plugs, smart speakers and smart displays under the brand Echo, which respond to commands beginning with “Hey, Alexa.”

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) may not be the headline brand on a consumer good, but plenty of companies look to its technology to power smart devices as well as the networks that complete the connected loop. With increasing demands placing a burden on home networks, consumers aren’t relaxing expectations on flawless connectivity, which is where Intel excels, working with its partners to make home networks faster, smarter, and more secure with advanced home networking and wireless technologies.

What’s next for smart homes and smart cars? They already crank out piles of data and notifications to keep their owners abreast of everything from room temperature to how much gas is in a car. It’s hard to speculate what’s next on the horizon, but with the onset of 5G able to move data even faster, there is a lot of exciting upside to consider.

For more information about SPYR Inc. (OTCQB: SPYR), please visit SPYR Inc.

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