Amazon is buying smart home security company Ring. The deal terms were not publicly disclosed but are being estimated at more than $1 billion. Amazon was an investor in Ring.
Geekwire reports that Amazon will likely leave Ring to operate independently as it has with other acquisitions such as Zappos and Audible. However, the buy further advances Amazon’s position in the smart home market. Ring makes home security cameras, video doorbells and smart LED lighting products.
Google’s Nest purchased Dropcam in 2014 for more than $500 million.
Ring is already integrated with Alexa and can interact with Amazon’s smart display Echo Show and Fire TV. Amazon previously introduced a security camera and a keyless entry smart door lock and video camera bundle (Amazon Key), which was criticized by some for giving Amazon control over access to people’s homes.
The smart home devices market languished for years until the advent of digital assistants. Now the market is starting to take off with smart speakers as the new smart home hub, driving additional device and appliance purchases.
Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are all competing in this market but because of the success of Alexa devices and Google Home it’s really Amazon vs. Google for the control (right now) of the smart home ecosystem. While there are multiple market share estimates, Alexa is the undisputed leader. Google Home gained share over the holidays, but remains a clear number two.
Accordingly, we can expect both Google and Amazon to make more acquisitions in the coming year to strengthen their hardware portfolios.