While I agree that people in 10-20,000 sq ft. homes are going to go the C4 route when building a home, that's such a small percentage of the population, most guys on this forum don't cater to them, at least not on a regular basis.
So, if we take the sq ft. down to 5000 and below, I think that this is a conversation that the industry needs to address. Here are my thoughts on it.
First, the systems that you're installing are struggling to keep up with the products that customers want. Nearly every day on this forum there's a discussion about SONOS not working with C4, or Spotify not working with Autonomic, or HDMI extenders not working with XYZ TV, it goes on and on. The surveillance apps are horrible compared to their competition from less expensive products like Ring and Nest.
I hear CI's say...I don't install SONOS because it doesn't work with C4 or I don't care about Spotify, etc. However, unlike in the past these products are becoming "known" and they're being requested by the customers. If the XYZ system doesn't work with the product that they want, you're going to hit a barrier...and here's my opinion why.
Google, Facebook, and Amazon want in the house. This thing is $99 and does more than a C4 touchscreen... and it's plug and play. Does it connect to $1000 speakers? No. But the name of the game is connectivity, not sound quality. You have a hard time selling sound to a guy who walks around with earbuds in his ears all day.[Link: store.google.com] They have the best designers, the best engineers, and have unlimited funds to move into any market they want...and in Google's case, they basically own the internet.
Amazon Alexa is becoming more popular by the day, and they also have unlimited funds.
Facebook and Apple will pick up the scraps.
Xfinity has a voice activated remote that comes FREE with the cable boxes, it's RF and voice control, and the voice control works really well. So, why does someone want to go backwards with a URC or ProControl remote that costs upwards of $500.
What's more....sooner rather than later, we'll be getting our cable directly through WIFI or Cat6 connected directly to the TV, they've already built the apps, they just need to work the bugs out, and they'll have everyone watching TV through the app, without a cable box at all.
So, if you have no cable box, and a smart TV or a Roku, Apple TV, they've just done away with video distribution by removing the need for it altogether.
I mentioned earlier that the big three have the best designers, their products are designed well, and they work. So, if you were a consumer which product would you choose? A product from a company like Google, that has unlimited funds, is designed well, and works. Or would you choose the company you've never heard of, that works most of the time, that costs exponentially more, with a GUI that looks like it was designed by a 12 year old?
Do I think the industry is dead? No. But it's going to change tremendously in the next few years, and it'll be interesting to see where it all shakes out. As of today's date, C4's stock price is almost 50% below what it was last year.