Yesterday, the web rocked with news that Google had reportedly decided to sell Motorola to Lenovo. After using the $10B Motorola deal to try and gain a significant patent war-chest, Google soon found that its patents were almost all worthless, after trying – and failing – to defend them in court. It also released the “almost stock” Android Moto X and Moto G, neither of which has really captured the imagination of the public. According to reports, the deal to sell the hardware manufacturer to Lenovo is around the $3 billion mark, a similar price it paid for Nest Labs.
And that’s where it gets interesting. An unnamed source spoke to TechCrunch and gave them the heads up that Google is planning on making Nest Labs its primary hardware designer and manufacturer. And that Google has “big plans” for Nest.
“Google will keep the Nest group intact inside the company. The new division will still work on hardware devices, but not necessarily thermostats or smoke detectors. In fact, Google would like Fadell to work on gadgets that make more sense for the company. Will it be a phone or a tablet? It’s unclear for now.”
So far, Nest has developed the first thermostat anyone actually wants, and the first intelligent and attractive smoke/carbon monoxide detector. It’s now well-known for taking boring household items, and bringing them firmly into the age of the “internet of things”, as well as bringing in a sense of the design ethos gained from time working for Apple.
Tony Fadell, Nest’s CEO is known as the “father of the iPod”, and was instrumental in its design. In his time at Nest, he’s attracted a number of former colleagues from Apple. So much so, that it’s almost like it’s a mini-Apple now owned by Google. And it could represent a serious change in Google’s methods of operating.
Having failed to nail vertical integration of hardware and software with its purchase of Motorola, it’s pinning its hopes on Nest and is willing to give them whatever resources they need to make it happen. With the amount of cash available, and the talent of Nest, we could be about to see the most iPhone-like Nexus devices there has ever been. And by that, I mean quality of manufacturing and design, fit and finish, perfectionism. Something Motorola clearly didn’t have.
Nest Nexus phone anyone?