Even though home automation producer Nest has been either under Google‘s or Alphabet‘s control since 2013, the company continues to exist as a separate entity. That might change sooner than later, as The Wall Street Journal reports that Alphabet might fold the Nest team into Google’s hardware team.
The move, according to those familiar with the talks, seems to be the result of Alphabet wanting to separate Google’s internet business from its other ventures. Alternatively, the move could also aid Google in its efforts to strengthen its hardware team and fight against Amazon, which is making steady progress into the home with its Echo devices and, most recently, the Cloud Cam.
Folding Nest into Google also makes sense, according to former Nest employees, since Nest’s and Google’s hardware businesses often overlap when it comes to manufacturing and retail distribution. At one point, the two businesses were even working on similar software with the same name: Weave. Said a former Nest manager:
The only surprising thing to me is that it’s taken this long. If you think about it from a sales and marketing perspective, we are calling the same retailers.
There were hints of some sort of combination during the past year, when Alphabet reportedly combined Nest’s and Google’s supply chains and shifted 100 Nest employees over to Google. In other words, even though Nest remained an independent entity throughout, the writing was starting to be seen on the wall.
It will be interesting to see what this means for existing Nest products, which work with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. It will also be interesting to see what sort of response, if any, Amazon makes — it’s not as if Nest is a small brand.
Android Authority will reach out to Google and Nest for comment on the story, but in the meantime, let us know your thoughts of Nest possibly folding into Google in the comments below.