Can Google, Apple, or Samsung Lead the Internet of Things?

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

MarketWatch reports that neither Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) nor Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) made Goldman Sachs’s (NYSE:GS) list of companies best positioned to lead the innovation that will drive the development of the Internet of Things, a far-reaching network of everyday devices, which Goldman Sachs projects will connect 28 billion devices to the Internet by 2020.

Both Apple and Google have made moves toward building out successful mobile ecosystems — iOS for Apple and Android for Google — into hubs for innovation for Internet of Things fixtures, particularly smart homes. Google acquired Nest Labs, which then opened its Nest Developer Program to make its smart home platform an open-source hub through which third-party manufacturers’ devices and outside developers’ apps can communicate. Apple’s HomeKit, similarly, is being developed as a framework for the communication and control of smart home devices.

MarketWatch reports that Goldman Sachs cites two categories of technology as particularly crucial to the Internet of Things revolution. Those are “communications technology” — like Wi-Fi, cellular service, and “fog” computing — and hardware, like sensors, connectivity devices, and microcontrollers. It’s widely expected that Wi-Fi connectivity, rather than cellular connectivity, will drive the Internet of Things, and Goldman Sachs expects manufacturers of Wi-Fi chips, like  Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), plus hardware manufacturers, like Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Ruckus (NYSE:RKUS), to benefit.

Qualcomm, Cisco, and Ruckus all landed on Goldman Sachs’ list of companies best positioned for the Internet of Things revolution, each earning a “Buy” rating. They were also joined by Samsung (SSNLF.PK), which Goldman Sachs notes has the “widest hardware reach” of companies that have moved toward Internet of Things development. According to Investors Business Daily, Goldman Sachs also expects that car-based technologies will be the biggest driver of cellular Internet of Things connectivity, since for most other purposes, Wi-Fi will eventually be more efficient.