I’m not sure that’s true. It may be, but the other ball in play is that manufacturers like Rachio have to do an additional (and different) agreement with Apple to get into Apple’s MFi device certification program. I think it’s one thing for a company to say “we have access to the Sprinkler accessory type within the HomeKit framework” vs. “we’re working to get our products certified through Apple’s MFi program”. It’s the last sentence that anyone here gives a crap about, and my guess is that it’s covered under the MFi NDA, because IMO it’s been extremely difficult to find a company who talked about their product when it’s going through that process.
The only sprinkler manufacturer I’ve seen pre-announce HomeKit support is Orbit, with their b-hyve product. They did this during CES 2018 (there are all sorts of quick tech write-ups about it), but if you surf over to Orbit’s b-hyve website today, there is zero mention of HomeKit support in how they describe the product, or in the products tech page, or even in their FAQ.
In their user forum, they do generically answer HomeKit posts with a “our product has the MFi chip and will support HomeKit at a future time” blurb, but from looking at the hoopla surrounding their CES pre-announcement vs. how they describe HomeKit with their product now, it does look like someone (Apple?) asked them walk back the HomeKit support blurbs. In the end, b-hyve forums update isn’t much different than what Rachio has been implying since WWDC 2017, when their logo was shown as an official HomeKit manufacturer, IMO.
Still intrigues me that six months after Apple announced Sprinkler and Faucet support, Apple still does not publicly list those as current HomeKit accessory types: