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It’s no secret that telecos and cable operators are pushing to deliver smart home services alongside their other Internet of Things ventures. With offerings including connected routers, home security, and platforms that offer voice control for connected products, operators like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast already each have a foot in the smart home’s door. But top handset vendors are also increasingly turning their attention to the smart home as they seek to mine it for one key resource: data.

Parks Associates estimated earlier this year companies will sell nearly 55 million smart home devices in 2020, and the firm said adoption of smart home devices has already spread to a quarter of U.S. broadband homes. Of course, those devices will collectively generate a massive amount of data, which can then be used to improve targeted advertising efforts. And device vendors don’t want to miss the train.

“There are a number of drivers pushing mobile integration into the smart home, but the value of end user data is prominent,” Jonathan Collins, research director at ABI Research, observed. “Any mobile player that can push to provide smart home management can leverage that data to extend their core services, as well as be the data gatekeeper for a range of partners across multiple industries.”

According to ABI, key smartphone vendors like Apple and Google are already at work pushing integration of the smart home and mobile experiences, as seen with the former’s HomeKit offering. Samsung is also looking to make mobile a key part of the connected home experience. The launch of Samsung S8 handset earlier this year, for instance, also marked the debut of Samsung Connect – a new feature that allows users to tap into all of their smart home devices from their phone.

With handsets playing such an integral role in users’ lives, ABI hinted that operators who play the nicest with major vendors will reap the most benefit in the smart home market.

“Telcos, cable companies, utilities, security providers, and retailers are already working to expand their smart home footprints. How they compete or align with the mobile industry over the next five years will determine which players reap the greatest benefit from widespread smart home adoption,” Collins concluded.

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