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Confirmed: Google buys Nest for $3.2 billion

updated 04:13 pm EST, Mon January 13, 2014

Google said to have purchased maker of iPhone-compatible thermostats

Google has acquired Nest, maker of the Nest smart digital thermostat and a smart smoke detector. This according to Re/Code, which reported on Monday that the search giant had picked up the smart appliance manufacturer for $3.2 billion. Nest, founded by Tony Fadell, one of the creators of the iPod, has been growing in popularity, with its iPhone and iPad-compatible devices now sold in Apple's retail stores, as well as on its website.

Google confirmed the acquisition on Monday in a letter to investors. The search giant affirmed the $3.2 billion price tag, saying that the deal will be done for cash, with Fadell staying on as a leader of the unit. Google founder Larry Page praised Fadell's team at Nest, saying that Google was excited to bring them into the fold.

"They're already delivering amazing products you can buy right now - thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe. We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams!"

Fadell reciprocated Page's enthusiasm, saying the team was "thrilled to join Google. With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world."

Reportedly, Nest will operate within Google much in the way that Motorola does, as a separate but owned company. It will retain its own brand, and it will continue to offer apps for both iOS and Android.

by MacNN Staff




  1. gprovida

    Junior Member

    Joined: 02-14-06

    Well this kill the NEST and Apple/iOS partnership pretty fast.

    Fadel at Google is interesting, except Google is not are hardware product company and Fadel at the end of the day is a hardware product guy. Not sure NEXUS or Glass or NEST or GoogleTV models done by others is really Fadel's thing.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    Oh crap.

    Good for Tony's bank account, not good for anything or anyone else.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Let's see if the "open community" champion Google maintains the iOS compatibility of these devices moving forward.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Too bad. I kind of want one of the smoke alarms, but the last thing I'm going to do is pay Google to give them another backdoor into my life, this time physical presence. And if they don't use this somehow to start data mining their product eventually, I will be very surprised.

    Also: First they buy DARPA-favorite robotics lab, now in-home environmental monitoring devices company that has nothing at all to do with any of their markets. If Google isn't on its way to building Skynet, I have no idea what their plan is.

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-24-09

    I guess I'll turn off updates to my Nest thermostat and delete my Nest account. No way am I supporting Google. Sad day for Nest users.

  1. carloblackmore

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-28-05

    Perhaps Google is doing this to bring Fadell onboard for future hardware expertise?

  1. Jeff75

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 09-15-00

    I was strongly considering getting into the Nest ecosystem. Not anymore. I don't trust Google. Or should I say I trust Google to sell every single detail of my life they possibly can.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    As much as I respect what Fadell has built in Nest, Google is throwing crazy money at them (the company is not worth anything like that much) and I wonder how investors will react following the clearly poor decision to buy Motorola.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    Jeff75, aren't you a little warm right now? Do you really need the heater set to 77? I'll just go ahead and turn that down for you here... there we go... isn't that better? Yes, it is better, Jeff. It's better like this.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    I'm just waiting until those Adsense banners start displaying ads for sweaters when the temperature in my living room drops below 70F, cooking lessons after the third time my smoke alarm goes off at dinner time, hotels when the motion detector notices I haven't been home for a couple of days...

  1. jameshays

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-10-03

    Time to sell my nest devices then... This sucks.

  1. Stuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 02-11-05

    Well, I also will not invest in this technology any longer. I liked Nest and hoped they would succeed and bring down the price a bit more before diving in. Now, no lower price could make me buy in to the Google universe!

  1. Laphroaig

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-09-08

    I'm really surprised to see that no one says that it should have been Apple that bought them. Not that Apple should...but Nest type products are EXACTLY what Apple should be investing in whether they make them or not. AI and an affordable system that controls the home (for the rest of us) is long overdue. Google obviously sees this. I don't own a Nest and have no idea if they are crap or not but this kind of thinking is the near future. Everyone is so obsessed with mobile right now, but most people eat, sleep, bathe, watch TV, and play with their damned phone in a box called a home, which has changed little in the last 50 years. A box I want to control from the convenience of my ONE mobile device. To me it's unbelievable we are still where we are today.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    ... now will google (and other interested parties) have access to what rooms one inhabits and when...?

  1. slboett

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: 05-13-99

    Not buying now either. Google is the company I trust less than the NSA. Not that I needed one anyway - I still use $99 digital thermostats that are programmable and work great. Haven't really got to the point where I feel the need to show guests at an Xmas party I can change the temp without walking 12 feet.

  1. darkelf

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-21-03

    great news. now when your house has frozen solid, the nest can alert you and all your friends on Google+

  1. pottymouth

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 11-19-03

    I've got nothing against Google. :shrugs:

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    I wanted to voice a late disagreement with Laphroaig; while Nest's products are exactly the sort of thing Apple would make if they made thermostats and smoke detectors (no surprise given who founded the company), I'm personally quite glad Apple didn't buy them.

    Apple is what it is today because they've been extraordinarily careful about what they don't invest in. At one point they made cameras, printers, scanners, big-box Unix servers, tape drives, video game consoles, laptops, a wide range of desktops, several workstations, palmtops, and a variety of peripherals.

    Now they sell two desktops, one workstation, three laptops in two sizes each, one set top box, two phones, one phone without the phone, a couple of music players, a couple of pieces of networking hardware, and some cables. They make less products now than in 1993. They could easily sell everything and anything, but they have carefully stuck only to a very narrow range of stuff that is very core to what they see as their "business" and let companies like Nest and Fitbit build things to handle the rest as compatible peripherals.

    Maybe that's not the way of the every-conglomorated future, but I prefer that to the Sony, Samsung, and now apparently Google model of "We Make Everything(tm)".

  1. que_ball

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-14-00

    My family owns a vacation property with a nest that experienced a failure doing an upgrade to version 4.0 in December during one of the coldest periods of the year it caused the furnace not to come on, not even when it went colder than the "safety" temperature programmed into it. This was a known issue to Nest, with thermostats not charging properly and doing their upgrade with too low of a battery charge to complete the update. No emails were ever sent notifying customers of the problem. No notification email was sent indicating the thermostat was offline for a long period of time. If we did not have someone who checks the place periodically we would not have caught things in time before the pipes froze. Luckly we were half a degree from going below freezing when my brother and I drove out and were able to recharge and reboot the NEST thermostat to get the furnace running again. Called Nest and they downgraded our firmware to the previous release when he explained it was a known issue they had been having for nearly a month at this point but they were still doing a rolling upgrade to version 4 after the problems became known. A week later they stopped doing automatic upgrades to 4 and any new users would get version 3.5.3 instead with any customers who called to complain of problems getting downgraded from 4.0 manually like we were.

    The unit does automatic upgrades with no prompt, notification or way of preventing the upgrade besides disconnecting the wi-fi. There is no notification if the thermostat fails to check in to the server for a long period. The safety temperature feature only works if the NEST is turned on and working, it will not save you if the internal computer has locked up and requires a reboot.

    Further to this their new smoke detector product also has some problems. The first version of the wired version does not support the industry standard third wire signal common in homes that would trigger all connected smoke detectors to ring if the NEST smoke detector was alarming. If your security system is connected to this wire to detect a fire it will not work. So you will have to replace every smoke detector with the NEST product or else you could be violating building codes in some areas where interconnected detectors are required. So if you planned to just put the nest smoke detector in the most common area where you might get false alarms like near a kitchen then you better be ready to replace every detector in the house too because your interconnected system will no longer work as expected.

  1. Sebastien

    Registered User

    Joined: 04-29-00

    @que_ball now that's what I call a #fail.

  1. Laphroaig

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-09-08

    In response to Makosuke: I didn't mean to imply that Apple should design or manufacture a lot different products. I'm with you there. I DO think that Apple should be investing and expanding on iOS or Mac OS for future devices like the Nest though, much like what they have done with Airplay. You can bet that Google will with Android. Obviously Google's strategy is "One ring (OS) to rule them all".

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