With momentum building rapidly in the development of technology which will let people control their home appliances using their tablet computers or smartphones, Apple is understood to be working on software which will bring this capability to users of its iPhone.
It's believed the firm will make a major announcement about its plans at a high-level conference of its global software development team next week.
The Financial Times' San Francisco correspondent, Tim Bradshaw, has revealed that Apple is keen to keep pace with fellow tech giant Google, which set the tone for a massive push into smart home technology with its $3.2billion (£1.9billion) acquisition of Nest Labs at the start of the year.
He predicts that Apple will integrate the ability to automatically turn on lights and other electrical appliances in a home into future iPhone models, after the company late last year filed a patent for such technology.
And the company is understood to be talking to a number of home appliance manufacturers with a view to working with them to devise interfaces enabling a range of their products to be controlled using its smartphones.
Meanwhile, earlier this year Google and Samsung sealed a deal to share the licensing of a wide variety of their patents which is likely to lead to the two tech giants collaborating on the development of a range of smart home devices.