You probably heard that Amazon acquired the smart doorbell and camera company Ring, in a move that sets a clear stage for Amazon’s continued focus on smart home technology. So, what does that mean for consumers? The most immediate results is that smart doorbells are becoming more compatible and affordable than ever.
Amazon purchased startup company Ring in an effort to add complementary features to its Key service, which allows delivery drivers one-time, temporary access to homes in order to deliver packages securely into homes, instead of leaving them outside where they are susceptible to damage and thieves. While the service has been met with mixed acceptance by the retail giant’s consumers, Amazon isn’t slowing down its commitment to the project.
Prior to acquiring Ring, the Key service worked with Amazon’s own security cameras and smart lock partners. Though not yet integrated, it is expected that Ring will eventually be added to Key, and with the combined trust and loyalty of both the Amazon and Ring brand names, it now looks like the Key program might have a future. This is an important move, and necessary for the program – and Amazon’s smart home products – as competitors Google and Apple are closing in on Amazon’s lead on the market.
Complicating Amazon’s smart home offerings are its not-so-subtle struggle with the Nest line of products, which stems from the fact that Nest is owned by Amazon competitor Google. Nest was operating as its own company until recently, when Google folded it into its main operations to form a united front in the growing industry. The result is that Amazon will no longer stock or sell the newly released versions of Nest products (though older models may still be available).
While that could be a deep cut for Amazon customers, whom regularly use the website to shop for variety and price comparison. Amazon should tread lightly taking competitor products off of their site.
That being said, they are also making Ring more affordable. Though the company was a success on its own (which is how it got the attention of Amazon in the first place), having Amazon in its corner means it can make decisions that weren’t an option before. With that, the original Ring smart video doorbell, which was already their lowest-priced in the line, dropped its price from $150 to $100. That $50 difference could be a major factor in getting those that are on the fence about the product to finally pull the trigger.
Affordability is a big issue in the smart home market, so any price reduction can help propel the industry and also help a brand take the lead. Now, at $100, the original Ring Video Doorbell is $129 cheaper than Nest’s video doorbell, and $100 cheaper than August’s video doorbell. While that discount hasn’t extended to the newer products that offer both hardware and software updates, it’s still a good move that can help bring in more Ring customers, and in turn, more Amazon customers.