Home automation apps from Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and AT&T (NYSE: T) performed poorly in a recent compilation of 50,000 consumer reviews.
Argus Insights compiled data from nearly 50,000 smart home device and app reviews, dating back to last August.
The research company measured consumer "delight" with various home automation apps. Comcast's Xfinity Home app ranked next to last-place ADT. Meanwhile, AT&T's Digital Life app ranked higher, but still in the bottom tier. Argus said that apps from "smart home-focused" companies like Vivint and Honeywell performed best, with these companies successfully developing a more synchronized hardware and software ecosystem.
"Companies that have aligned their entire ecosystem to delight consumers will outperform the rest of the market in the long term. Look how Honeywell came from behind to beat Nest with an overall better experience," says John Feland, CEO and founder, Argus Insights.
The poor performance of so-called "entry-level" home automation apps is notable news to custom installers, who can upset customers by offering more robust solutions.
Comcast hasn't broken out customer figures for its three-year-old home automation business for quite some time. As of the end of the third quarter of 2013, it had just over 500,000 customers.
Of course, Comcast isn't the only smart home vendor opening its platform to products from other suppliers. AT&T is working on the same strategy with its Digital Life home automation service, and Google's Nest has been open to third parties for a year now. Other suppliers, like Samsung's SmartThings business, launched with the specific intent to work with a range of products from other suppliers.
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