Current and former Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) talent is in high demand right now as the company’s ability to innovate is questioned. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has just bought itself one of Apple’s brightest. Tony Fadell, who some call the “Podfather” because he was one of the iPod’s main designers, goes to Google as part of the search giant’s recently announced acquisition of Nest. Google paid $3.2 billion for the smart home thermostat maker, which was founded by Fadell and another former Apple executive after they left the company.
Google buys former Apple workers
While Fadell’s experience alone is worth noting, The Wall Street Journal notes that he isn’t the only former Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) employee going to Google along with its acquisition of Nest. The LinkedIn profiles of about 100 Nest employees list Apple as one of their former employees. Six of them had Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) listed as one of their former employers.
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This assessment is based on 297 workers of Nest who have profiles on LinkedIn. According to Fadell, they have over 300 employees around the globe.
Google faces off with Apple in the “smart” industry
Of course Nest is Google’s latest tool in battling Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Clearly the company is gearing up for a fight, even though Apple has yet to release any kind of connected device (other than iOS in the Car). So why didn’t Apple itself buy Nest? It would seem like the perfect match, a sort of homecoming for all those former Apple employees.
Business Insider suggests that a feud with Apple designer Jony Ive could have had something to do with it. Fadell and Ive apparently don’t get along. A source in a recent book about Ive reportedly said Fadell got fired for fighting with Ive. And because of that fight, Apple’s loss turns out to be Google’s gain.
Nest makes a name for itself in smart homes
So what is Nest? If you haven’t heard of the company, Nest sells a smart thermostat which works with smartphones and gives users remote access to the thermostat in their homes through their smartphone. The thermostat also learns the habits of homeowners and can adjust itself as needed. It can detect when they leave the house and automatically adjust the temperature to save on energy costs. That thermostat sells for $249 and, of course, works with iOS.
Then last year, Nest launched its second product—a connected smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, which sells for $129. The alarm supposedly can detect when something may be just a nuisance (like if you’re burning dinner), thus alerting you without blaring the alarm. And if the alarm is nothing but a nuisance, homeowners just wave their hands to shut it off. The alarm also works with the Nest thermostat, shutting off the gas furnace in the event of a real emergency.