Ian Betteridge, on the assumption that Google bought Nest to strengthen their investment in hardware:
With the Pixel and Q, Google proved it could design high-end hardware on its own. What it hasn’t been able to do is create high-quality hardware capable of being mass produced at low cost. Of all the tech hardware companies, only Apple and Nest have really nailed that one. And Apple wasn’t available for sale.
Such a good article from Betteridge. Most of the hardware Google has produced so far has been niche and pricey. In addition to the Pixel and Nexus Q — the latter of which, by the way, never shipped — Gruber mentioned the Search Appliance and Google’s custom data centres. The former is enterprise-oriented, while the latter is produced purely for Google’s own needs. This is a serious investment.