What was the fate of Google’s hardware purchases?

What was the fate of Google’s hardware purchases?

What was the fate of Google’s hardware purchases?

Google In its latest acquisition and merger activity, Fitbit taken over. The purchase of Fitbit, the maker of famous health tracking hardware and smart watches such as Versa, was an important news that once again put the name of the search engine giant in the headlines in recent weeks. This move is considered an important step by Google to make a serious entry into the field of wearable gadgets . Of course, given their history in hardware activities, pessimism about the future of Fitbit is not far from expected.

  • What is Google looking for by acquiring Fitbit?
  • Google will successfully enter the smart watch market by buying Fitbit

Google’s history in buying Hardware companies are not so closely associated with its successes. Most of the acquired companies either failed or were merged with other Google brands. Finally, the list of Google acquisitions that have passed the early stages of testing is not that long.

At this point, it is impossible to make any definitive statements about Fitbit’s success or failure. Of course, by looking at the history of Google, you can get an idea about the future of new hardware purchases. In the continuation of this Zomit article, we have a look at the biggest past purchases of Mountain View residents in the hardware market and examine their fate.

Motorola Mobility

Google bought Motorola ‘s mobile business in 2011. A purchase that earned the title of one of the most famous acquisitions and mergers in the history of the search engine giant. The $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola’s mobile division puts it by far at the top of Google’s list of hardware purchases.

Google’s decision to buy Motorola was justified from various aspects. Mountain View decided to gain complete control over Motorola’s thousands of patents in the mobile industry in order to use them for the many legal battles related to Android from competitors (especially Apple), use Google also decided to make a strong entry into the smartphone hardware market in emerging markets by introducing high-end low-end products.

Despite all the reasons and justifications above, Google’s plans did not go as planned. In 2014, the search engine giant announced the sale of Motorola’s mobile division to the Chinese manufacturer Lenovo . The sale of Motorola brought only $2.9 billion in revenue for Google, which was a very low percentage compared to the purchase price. Of course, they retained a major share of mobile patents.


HTC acquisition led to easier development of Pixel smartphones

Buying the entire Motorola Phones division was not Google’s last attempt to seriously enter the hardware business. In 2017, they announced to the media the purchase of a major part of the research and development subsidiary of HTC. In addition, the non-executive rights of a part of the intellectual properties of the Taiwanese company were also given to Google in the mentioned contract. The cost of this contract for Google was said to be 1.1 billion dollars.

Google and HTC worked closely together in the development of the first Pixel smartphone, and the first product of the collaboration was launched in 2016. The Pixel was completely designed by Google, and the phrase Made by Google appeared in its marketing ads. Of course, HTC played a very important role in the development and manufacturing processes of this smartphone.

Google Pixel 3 , and every Pixel smartphone after that, is done by a team that Google has subsidized from HTC. He added himself. However, the recent deal dealt a big blow to HTC, which is experiencing turmoil by losing about half of its talented designers.

Nest Labs

Two former Apple engineers, in In 2010, they launched Nest Labs. Their first product under the Nest brand was launched in 2011, which was a thermostat with smart learning capabilities. The next product, the Carbon Monoxide home detector, was released a few years later.

Google offered to buy $2.3 billion in cash in 2014. presented to Nest, which was implemented in less than 24 hours. At that time, Google had committed that Nest would continue to operate under an independent brand and would be considered a separate property with a unique brand. Of course, the new structure did not find a high compatibility with Nest organizational culture ; A culture that was criticized for multiple management structures.

People of Mountain View in 2018 They changed their plan to keep Nest as an independent brand and started the process of merging it with the Google brand. The new approach brought more management challenges at Nest and led to the departure of the company’s CEO and chief product officer. However, Google continued its approach and even announced that it will use the Google Nest brand for all its products in the smart home market. Even the products that were made independently of the Nest sub-category will have the same brand. Google’s decision was so serious that even the established Google Home Hub brand was changed to Google Nest Hub.


Google Shortly after buying Nest, the company bought Dropcam. Buying new hardware at a price of $555 million allowed Nest to develop one of its most important products, the Nest Cam. At the time of selling to Google, Dropcam had only two products, Dropcam and Dropcam Pro. Using these products and their overall optimization, Nest designed and produced Nestcam, which was marketed as the new generation of Dropcam Pro.

Dropcam co-founder regrets selling his company to Google

Google and Nest after launching a new product with Taking advantage of Dropcam’s design, they decided to transfer its users to the new application. They encouraged old Dropbox users to use the new Nest app, which was sort of an optimized version of the original Dropbox app. After implementing these changes, the Dropcam brand was fully integrated into Google. Greg Duffy, the co-founder of Dropcam today, strongly regrets selling his company to Google.


Fitbit is the first company active in the field of wearables is not bought by Google. The search engine giant bought Cronologics in 2016 for an undisclosed amount. Before selling to Google, this company had developed only one product called CoWatch, which you can see in the image below.

Kovach has features such as compatibility with Amazon Alexa and allows the user to send voice commands directly from the watch. The price tag of this smart watch was $279 at the time of launch. Chronologics had taken positive approaches in the development of its smart watch, but Google’s reason for buying the company was not only the aforementioned designs and developments. They wanted the Chronologics team to focus on the development of the operating system Android Wear, which would later become Wear OS was renamed.

Coronologics group was developing its own operating system for wearable gadgets before joining Google. They used Android Lollipop as the base of the operating system. Finally, the Chronologics brand was integrated into Google.

Titan Aerospace

Titan Aerospace is one of the most attractive hardware purchases in Google history. This company was established in 2011 with the aim of designing and producing a drone that uses solar energy. , can fly up to five hours. Facebook first expressed interest in buying Titan. The social networking giant wanted to use their product to provide high-speed internet in parts of the world that In terms of logistics, they had many difficulties. However, Google acted faster and bought Titan in 2014.

After buying the Titan Air Company, Google added it to the subcategory of its experimental project called Google X and changed its name to Project Titan. The people of Mountain View were hoping that Titan would succeed in developing their plane to use it (like Facebook’s plan) to provide internet to underserved areas. Unfortunately, the project was discontinued in 2017 and the rest of the company and members of Titan were merged into Google. The mentioned project was then continued under the name of Loon, which follows the same previous plan with a balloon flight.

Multiple Robotics Companies

None of Google’s acquisitions in the field of robotics led to The robot was not released with the Google brand

No product in the robotics industry has been released with the Google brand yet. Of course, the search engine giant has a long history in robotic development. In 2013, they acquired three robotics companies, Meka Robotics, Redwood Robotics, and Boston Dynamics.

Mecca Robotics focused on human-robot communication projects and produced robotic body parts and humanoid machines. Redwood Robotics was a company comprised of Mecca and other similar organizations that focused on the development of robotic arms for use by humans. Both companies were merged into the Google X project, and since then no specific news has been released about them.

Boston Dynamics can be considered the most famous robotics company in the world, which has gained a good reputation with the development of robots such as BigDog. The company, like its peers, added to the Google X project, but was sold to SoftBank in 2017 for an undisclosed price.


Finally, we come to Google’s latest hardware purchase, Fitbit. Since not much time has passed since the purchase agreement, it is not possible to make a specific comment about its future. The possibility of taking a similar approach with Chronologics and using the Fitbit team to develop Wear OS seems far-fetched. On the other hand, repeating Motorola’s mistake and selling again will not be a possible option.

Some experts predict a hybrid approach for Fitbit similar to Google’s past efforts with HTC and Nest Labs. Google will probably produce new wearable gadgets under the Fitbit brand; Perhaps phrases such as Fitbit by Google or something similar will be chosen as the brand for the new products. Next, it can be predicted that a smart wearable will be released with Google’s exclusive brand. Also, the new wearables will probably benefit from the patents of Fossil brand, which was bought by Google at the beginning of this year. Kurd, who will work on the development of wearable gadgets with the Google brand. Finally, given Google’s track record, one prediction seems most likely: Fitbit’s independent brand will not last long.

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