Google just made a big, bold acquisition, scarfing up red-hot home-automation gadget company Nest for $US3.2 billion.
Nest was founded by the guy who designed Apple’s iPod. Nest products look like Apple products. Nest products are beloved by people who love Apple products. Nest products are sold in Apple stores.
Nest, in short, looked like a perfect acquisition for Apple, which is struggling to find new product lines to expand into and has a mountain of cash rotting away on its balance sheet with which it could buy things.
But Apple didn’t buy Nest.
And this appears to continue a pattern in which — in the bitter head-to-head battle between Apple and Google — Google is fixing its weaknesses (hardware) much faster than Apple is fixing its own weaknesses (software and services).
At first glance, in other words, it appears that Google’s aggressiveness has once again caught Apple snoozing. And now a company that looked to be a perfect future division of Apple is gone for good.
Nest, of course, isn’t the only company that Google has snapped up lately.
Kim Bhasin of the Huffington Post just tweeted this list of “things Google has bought lately,” which is from Wikipedia. As you can see, over the past year, Google has bought no fewer than 21 companies. In addition to home automation products, Google has bought and is now developing and/or selling, among other things…
- Humanoid robots
- Traffic detection software
- Airborne wind turbines
- Computer vision
- Robot arms
- Robot wheels, and
- Gesture recognition technology