There’s a lot of changes brewing over at Google right now with the upcoming formal launch of Google Wear, Android in cars, talk of a new major version of Android coming later this year with 64-bit support, the possible death of the Nexus program and the list goes on. As if there wasn’t enough going on, it looks like Google is also making a pretty big shift when it comes to its internal hardware business as well, at least if a new report from The Information proves correct.
We’ve long heard claims that Google’s purchase of Nest was about improving their internal hardware ambitions. As it turns out, Tony Fadell, Nest CEO and so-called father of the iPod, is now reportedly in charge of Google’s hardware division. Sundar Pichai has even allegedly “dismantled almost all of the Android team’s hardware initiatives” in order to give the man and his team the creative freedom they need when it comes to future Google hardware products.
If this is all true, what does this mean for the future of mobile and for consumer hardware from Google? Honestly, it’s hard to say what Fadell’s involvement might mean for the company’s existing efforts. Of course, Google doesn’t actually have much when it comes to self-made consumer hardware, aside from the Chromebook Pixel and Chromecast. The bigger picture is that Google is likely preparing for a more direct role in hardware, particularly in the area of the connected home, something that Nest and the recently acquired Dropcam could certainly help with.
Are you excited about the idea of Google more actively getting involved in the consumer hardware game or would you prefer them to stick with software and let 3rd party OEMs handle the hardware side?
Update: Tony Fadell has since refuted The Information’s claim that Fadell and Nest are now in charge of Google’s hardware efforts. Of course Fadell says he runs Nest as a separate business with its own management, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some room for future overlap. Either way, at least for now, the claim that Fadell is running Google’s hardware division is reportedly false.
— Tony Fadell (@tfadell) June 23, 2014