Alphabet rolls its Nest smart-home unit back into Google

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When Alphabet blew up its corporate structure back 2015, Nest was regarded as one of the model "Other Bets," but the unit subsequently experienced product struggles and departure of its CEO. Since then, Nest has added to its product offerings with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, indoor and outdoor cameras, home security systems, a new, less expensive thermostat, and an upcoming smart doorbell.

The internet-connected devices company bought by Google for $3 billion in 2014 will be folded back into Google, the company announced today (Feb. 7). Google hasn't released sales figures for its Google Home speaker line, but various research firms have estimated Amazon controls about 70 percent of the United States smart speaker market, which means Google has a lot of catching up to do. At the time, Google opted to keep Nest running as its own independent operation. Presumably there will still be "Nest" products, but they're going to come from the same unified team that designs Google's hardware.

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Fawaz told CNet that Nest has shipped more than 11 million products since 2011, when its first thermostat went on sale.

Nest was already a part of Google before Alphabet was even a thing, so the merger of the two firms isn't surprising to see.

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Rick Osterloh, who leads Google's hardware efforts, and Nest Chief Executive Marwan Fawaz, said in the blog post that they hoped integration of their teams would "supercharge Nest's mission" to make homes safer, friendlier to the environment and more affordable. It's responsible for products like the Pixel and Google Home. Devices like the Google Home and Nest Cam should be co-developed under the same team, not in separate silos.

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