Google’s parent company Alphabet is considering a merge between the Google and Nest teams in order to facilitate a better competitive hardware division as the company gears up to take on Amazon.
The merger has been reported by the Wall Street Journal who cite people familiar with talks going on at the company. The decision to fold the Nest hardware team in with the Google hardware team has been led by Amazons push into security related products, namely their cameras which have previously been the purview of Nest.
Google has been competing with Amazon on their smart speakers, but merging the Nest and Google teams would allow for a more cohesive hardware strategy. Nest and Google have been essentially competing, with both companies working on a software product named ‘Weave’ though they are not the same.
There have been signs of a more close working relationship between Google and Nest, with Nest a notable inclusion at the October ‘Made by Google’ event where they showed off Google Assistant integration in the Nest Cam IQ and the upcoming Nest Hello Doorbell. The WSJ also notes that several Nest staff were temporarily moved to Google to work on Google’s version of Weave, before moving back to Nest.
Having a merged hardware team would narrow focus as well as improve supply chain for the companies, although Google has already merged supply chain with Nest with 100 staff from Nest moving to Google to facilitate the change. It would also see Nest diverge from their own staffing structure which includes their own headquarters, hiring process and perks.
No timeframe has been given for the move, but we may see the fruits of a merger in products soon enough.