Google grabs Nest in $3.2 billion deal; former iPod boss Fadell to stay in charge

Google has acquired Nest, the company behind the Nest learning thermostat, as well as the Protect, a smart smoke detector, for $3.2 billion. Nest will continue to exist as its own distinct brand within Google, much like Motorola, and will still be run by current CEO Tony Fadell. Fadell said that he believes that this move will put Nest in a better position to create more of the devices that the company has become known for, according to the announcment from Google:

“We’re 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.”

Are you excited about this news? Sound off in the comments.

Source: Google Investor Relations

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

  • Wonder if Apple passed on this, or if they even got a chance at it before Google pounced...
  • IMO Google pounced, like they often do. I doubt Apple would have even considered them. This is surprising.
  • Google has been an investor in Nest for quite a while.
  • Bingo. Plus I doubt Apple had any interest in Nest (otherwise they would have been an investor)
  • Stunned. If you'd asked me an hour ago, I would have been sure that Nest would have been headed for an initial public offering in a year or two. Their valuation last year was less than a billion, which was still remarkable for how fast they came up. My assumption is that Google sees this as the next area for its @Home initiative.
  • Actually disappointed that they've been required by google...
  • Google will track your energy use now... :)
  • I actually think they won't be able to, at least not directly. Couldn't see an advantage to merging the systems, I mean the server rooms, yes, but not the actual boxes. Could it happen? Yes, but it would require someone to physically go to another room. And I honestly think it's better Google bought them, as this will keep it iOS and Android. If Apple were to buy them, it would almost definitely become iOS only, and Apple having the data, plus it going iOS only would be just as bad for *me* as my iPhone isn't my daily driver anymore.
  • Google has been an investor for quite a while. In fact, I think that Google Ventures led the last round of financing. I wonder how much of the $3.2 B comes right back into Google's coffers.
  • Sad... :-/ #steve jobs on exit strategy
  • Apple has more money than they know what to do with. I trust that something like this has to upset them because while it isn't part of their core business it is part of their ecosystem and should have some measure of protection from the likes of the competition. If I'm Apple, I take 1/4 of their cash pile and form a holding company to purchase non-core, but strategic partners who may be subject to takeover by Google, Microsoft, Samsung or any other competitor. They could run it like a Venture Capital firm, like Berkshire Hathaway or do things in a more Apple way. And should they determine that one of these business becomes core to their overall strategy in the future they don't have to go into a bidding war in order to get the technology or competency. The way I see it, Wall Street would applaud because they'll finally be putting their capital to work. They would guarantee that they ecosystem remains committed to them and who knows, maybe one of these companies becomes a break out hit and adds more money to their cash pile.
  • Great idea.
  • AppleVentures Inc if they want to copy Google for a change
  • Fascinating idea, and Wall Street would almost assuredly approve of that capital being put to use. Apple must feel that the benefit of being able to fund/acquire companies and talent like this is outweighed by the possible loss of focus of its executive talent, but they way you suggest that should not be that much of a problem.
  • Thoroughly disgusted. How long before advertisements start streaming across the faceplate? Press the faceplate to clear the ad or you don't get heat..... That and as someone else mentioned, I do not want Google tracking my usage.... sigh..
  • Are you saying like Chrome has ads on it to use anything? Or Android having built in ads. Last time I check neither one of those platforms had ads. Neither does the gmail app on android. On the Web the email ads are by far less than any other free email system out there. So again where is this coming from. This seems to be standard FUD to me.
  • Well this is disappointing. I noticed the one I got my parents for Christmas was an updated model from the one I've had the past year and was considering getting a new one. Now I probably won't.
  • As with others I'm also disappointed. I would have thought Nest would have stayed to themselves to bring more products out. Now I foresee people being less interested in them due to being coupled to Google. I was hoping to get the smoke detector but I'm having second thoughts with this buyout news.
  • I can't imagine most people to be upset by it being owned by Google. Overall Google is a pretty loved company. Heck Android isn't the #1 OS for nothing. If people really hated Google they would stay away from Android as well. Nest will do just fine. They're great products
  • Well, actually it's not about being a "loved" company. Android is #1 due to having cheaper (less expensive) phones than say the iPhone and most people don't really care about the OS or the companies they are from. So it's not the same. This is not about any of that. Google is an advertising company who main asset is "your" information whether it be public or private and how they can use it to make them money. Nest has personal information as is when you are home or what room your in. That is very private information and I don't need a company knowing when I am or am not in my house because if they know the companies who advertise may know and who knows who else may know at that point. It's the same reason when I use to use FourSquare and never put my home address in to check in like I've seen so many do. You are opening up yourself and your family to all sorts of not so pleasant things to possibly occur. It may sound paranoid but it's also a reality. This is my issue with Google. I'm not saying they will do it but it does make me think twice now that they will own Nest. You also have to take in account that these devices go into houses with generally security conscious people that may consider this a possible security risk depending on how much they trust Google. As usual everything is will be fine until it's not. Only time will tell what happens with Nest and how And if Google uses Nests' information. I'm willing to wait and see.
  • Great innovative product. This is great for Google! Sent from the iMore App
  • Well... That about sums up what I WON'T be purchasing for my home now. I have 2 thermostats that independently control my 2 heat pumps. Since these units are controlled through the internet in many respects, & since I've spent the last year decoupling my dependencies on Google due their incessant ads & tracking, this officially becomes a no buy. That's a shame because this company had such amazing promise.
  • Google will either figure out a way to sell your Nest information to anybody willing to pay, or shut the service down. They wouldn't have invested in it unless they thought they were going to make money. If its not profitable it will be shuttered like many of their other services. Google is not known for consumer support or service. Their customer is the advertisers. We are just the fodder.
  • "They wouldn't have invested in it unless they thought they were going to make money." YOU DON'T SAY?
  • Just installed a new Nest in my house and love it. Love any and all great tech. Home automation is the future and I would like to get more automation ideas in my house. I think Google being the new owners can only help the product get better. I use Google apps as much as possible because they are the best. Search, maps, google plus, google drive and I can keep going.
  • Some of you people need to get off this "disappointed" high horse. Nobody cares that you "can no longer purchase any Nest products" due to your moral compass or loyalty to Apple or whatever -- especially not Nest or Google. Nest makes great products and will continue to do so. Isn't that what matters in the end? If you think Google is the only company that's interested collecting data about you, I have a bridge to sell you.
  • Let's see how badly Google ruins this product. Sent from the iMore App
  • The real question is how will Google capitalize on this.
    Will this be a feature offered to out Google accounts?
    Does Google plan on referencing data from the devices about users?
    Does Google have an alternative use in mind for this tech beyond home maintenance?
    ... And you thought your XBox Kinect was watching. Sent from the iMore App
  • Great now google will know the temperature in my condo. What else do they need to know about me???
  • Peter Cohen should read the comments on articles like this every time he wonders why people call Apple fans "cultists".
  • All in all I think it is a good thing. I know when I buy a house Nest will be one of the first things I install.