Google could take its Nest business of smart home products back under its wing as the company looks to better compete with Amazon’s Alexa lineup, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The two units were separated two years ago when Alphabet pushed to split its holdings into subsidiary businesses. However, Google is reportedly eyeing a move to fold Nest back into its hardware team. Nest currently has around 1,000 employees.
Nest offers a range of products including smart thermostats, security cameras and smoke detectors. But the devices work with both Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, and better integration with the former could help Google capture a larger share of the market.
A recent study by market research firm Strategy Analytics indicated Google Assistant smart home hubs are gaining on Amazon, but still have a lot of ground to cover.
In October, Strategy Analytics predicted Amazon would capture more than two-thirds of global smart home hub sales in Q4 with an estimated 68 per cent of speakers sold. That figure was projected to be down from 88 per cent of the market share in the fourth quarter 2016. In contrast, Google was expected to take home around 20 per cent of sales, up from 10 per cent the year prior.