Report: Nest might be folded into Google’s hardware team

(credit: Nest)

A report from the Wall Street Journal claims that Google's parent company Alphabet is "considering" folding Nest into the Google hardware team. The report says the move would allow Google to "more tightly integrate its services with Nest," which would let Google compete better in the connected home market. The report doesn't go into much more detail than that. Questions about what would happen to the Nest brand or how exactly a Google integration would work are left unanswered.

Nest was acquired by Google in 2014, where it was made into "a Google company"—a company that existed inside Google, but was more or less run independently. When the Alphabet era began in 2015, Nest was spun off into an independent company under the Alphabet umbrella. In 2016, Nest CEO Tony Fadell left the company, and since then Alphabet has not seemed quite sure what to do with Nest.

Nest has struggled inside Google (and later Alphabet) since its acquisition in 2014. The expectation was that an infusion of Google's cash and resources would supercharge Nest, and while the company quadrupled its headcount under Google/Alphabet and acquired companies like Dropcam and Revolv, new products (other than a rebranded Dropcam) were few and far between. Nest's smart thermostat and smoke detector existed before the acquisition. The only new products under Fadell's tenure were rebranded Dropcams.

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