Apple Stores Send Google’s Nest Thermostat Packing As It Focuses On HomeKit

Just as you can't walk into a McDonald's and order a Whopper, you can no longer waltz into one of Apple's retail stores or visit the company's online shop and pick up a Nest thermostat, which is owned by rival Google. They've been yanked from store shelves, both physical and virtual, to make room for products that tap into Apple's own HomeKit home automation technology.

Apple also kicked two other Nest products to the curb, at least for now -- the Nest Cam, a Wi-Fi video camera that lets you see your home on your phone, and the Next Protect, a second generation smoke and CO alarm that talks that talks and sends alerts to your mobile handset. Both of these products were launched only a month ago and, up until now, were sold in Apple stores (online and offline).

Nest Thermostat

According to Nest, the boot is only temporary. A Nest spokeswoman called Apple a "valued partner" and said that "new products will be available through Apple and other retail channels in the coming weeks." As for the Nest thermostat, this is the second time Apple has removed the product, and while it appears to be a permanent decision, a source told Recode that negotiations between Google and Apple are ongoing.

The fast emerging Internet of Things (IoT) market is becoming a highly competitive field, especially in the home where more and more smart devices are showing up. It's a cutthroat business, and rather than sell competing products for a profit, Apple would prefer to push its own technologies so that its ecosystem can be the dominant one.

Ecobee 3

In this instance, Nest is out and HomeKit compatible products are in. That includes the Ecobee 3, smart wireless thermostat that became available earlier this month and directly competes with Nest.