Update: Cue the record scratches. It seems Fadell isn't in charge of Google's consumer hardware after all.
"The Information is 100% wrong!" Fadell tweeted following a report from the site that he is essentially the point man on Google's hardware roadmap. "I run Nest as a separate biz w/ its own mgmt & brand."
It's a short yet crisp denial refuting the report. We've asked Google for comment on Fadell's role at the company and will update this story when we hear back.
Even if Fadell isn't heading up Google's consumer hardware, it's hard to imagine he and the Nest team aren't having some influence on the devices Google has cooking. We expect to hear more about these influences at Google IO.
Original article below...
Google is a search and software titan first, hardware maker second. Sure, it's dabbled with phones, tablets and laptops (made in partnership with others, of course).
However, that is all apparently set to change as Google is turns its product-making prowess over to one man in particular.
According to the The Information (opens in new tab), Nest CEO Tony Fadell has been appointed head of Google's consumer hardware division, meaning the man who most famously designed Apple's iPod is now in charge of Google's hardware development.
Currently Google only produces two products on its own, namely the Chromebook Pixel and Chromecast, but with Fadell's considerable hardware chops, that could soon change.
Nest famously made high-end thermostats and smoke detectors but thanks to a recent Dropcam acquisition, it may soon add security surveillance to its repertoire of smart home gadgets.
It's very likely Nest and Google are working on a connected home solution, bridging together appliances and devices just as Google has linked users' computers and smartphones through Chrome and Android.
Fadell, meanwhile, comes with the consumer product pedigree of being lead designer of the iPod, one of the world's most popular music playing devices. His success there and with Nest's sharp products seem to square him up nicely designing more Google goods.
Google has been looking to help push along its hardware more directly, and the hand of Fadell may just be the ticket.
The company is rumored to announce its last line of Nexus devices this year as it moves to a more expansive Android Silver platform.
With the new program in place, Google will have its hand in more than one Nexus smartphone and tablet per ear. Instead it could oversee the production of several devices from multiple manufacturers.
Google has also developed Android Wear, a new platform for wearable devices and smartwatches to connect natively with smartphones. Add in Project Ara's ambitious goals to make modular mobile devices and Google's new hardware portfolio could become very fat within the next couple of years.
- Will Fadell and Google drop a hardware bombshell at Google I/O 2014?
Via The Verge