Google today sold Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. While many speculated that Google would release phones after it bought Motorola in 2011, it didn’t happen — Motorola remained a partner like other Android OEMs. Recently, Google acquired Nest, and TechCrunch has learned that Google has big plans for the team behind the connected device company.
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.
While Nest first became popular with its thermostats, Google didn’t buy the company for these devices. First and foremost, the company wanted to snatch the great product team.
Nest founder and CEO Tony Fadell used to work for Apple on the iPod and was a founding member of the iPhone development team. Many people working in hardware consider him one of the best executives that understand both hardware and software — he is comfortable working at the intersection of the two.
Moreover, Fadell managed to attract great Apple engineers when he started working on Nest. They wanted to follow Fadell’s plans and were good engineers. And that’s exactly what Google was looking for when it acquired Nest.
When it comes to budget, Google is willing to let the Nest team use as many resources as it needs. In other words, the company is getting serious about consumer hardware, and Motorola was just a false start.
Google will keep Motorola’s patents, and it seems pretty clear now that Google only wanted that from the get-go.
Acquiring Nest and selling Motorola now make more sense when you put these two things side by side. Something was missing with Motorola. With Nest, Google finally has the right team and mindset to create and produce gadgets.