Google Pleased With Hardware And Nexus Performance; Talks Nest, Glass And Other Wearables

Google’s earnings call doesn’t feature CEO Larry Page this time around, which is a disappointment in terms of product discussion. But Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora discussed briefly hardware during the call, flagging the search giant’s growing satisfaction with the Nexus line and with the Nexus 5 in particular.

Arora said that Google is seeing “strong interest in Nexus hardware,” and “great reception for Nexus 5,” especially during the holiday sales period. That’s due to the marketing team’s performance creating ads and also fostering a retail environment conductive to purchases.

On the subject of Nest, Google reiterated the line it’s been touting so far, which is that they saw the goals of Nest and themselves in alignment. Google wants to help Nest scale, it said, and will continue to devote resources to this goal. That’s somewhat different from what TechCrunch heard recently, which suggested that the learning thermostat and smoke detector weren’t really the focus of the deal; instead, Google wants to put the Nest team in charge of all of its hardware projects.

Asked whether the Motorola acquisition will affect their hardware plans, Arora said that he thinks their continued investments in other areas should show that they’re still committed to hardware.

“As you know from the Nest acquisition, Glass and wearables, we’re continuing to innovate,” he said about their ongoing hardware projects. It’s an interesting characterization, because Google has yet to make anything public around wearables beyond Glass, yet Arora separated it out as a new category. Late last year, we heard that a Google smartwatch might be right around the corner, however, so this could be a tantalizing hint that this kind of device (or other wearable efforts) could indeed be on the horizon. Remember that Google acquired WIMM Labs last year, which made an Android-powered smartwatch.

Google Q4 2013