Now that Apple has been gearing up its connected home platform, Apple HomeKit, Cupertino has offered up some exclusive retail space for the recently released ecobee3 Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat, taking down all of Nest Labs’ products from online and retail locations.
Apple did the same thing with Bose products late last year, shortly after the company acquired Beats Electronics. The move took a little competitive pressure off the Beats line of accessories for a bit while Bose and Apple settled patent disputes.
Bose devices eventually made their return to Apple’s online and retail shelves, but it is not certain if all of Nest’s offerings will return. Nest noted in its statement that Apple was a valued retail partner and that its “new products will be available through Apple and other retail channels in the coming weeks.”
Nest’s “new” devices are the redesigned Nest Protect, and Nest Cam. The Nest Learning Thermostat is arguably not part of that new generation of devices. There are other connected home accessories, like theWithings Home HD Video Camera, still available in Apple’s stores. Conveniently, they connect only with Apple devices. That could be seen as a potential obstacle to Google-owned Nest Labs, whose products connect with iOS and Android devices.
Moves like this are not new to Apple, but only a few manufacturers have developed anything for Apple HomeKit, and that may have Cupertino taking a hard look at how much visibility it wants to give competing platforms in its retail space.