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Smart Home

Nest's Hello doorbell, other new devices, won’t be sold on Amazon

It’s just the latest in the bitter feud between Google and Amazon over the future of the smart home.

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Nest's Hello doorbell goes on sale Wednesday evening, but you can't buy it on Amazon.

Josh Miller

If you were hoping to order one of Nest's new products on Amazon, you're out of luck -- another sign of the ongoing war between Nest's parent Google and the online retail giant.

On Wednesday night, three new Nest devices became available for sale or preorder: 

  • Nest's Hello smart doorbell system with a built-in camera is available at Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe's, and Nest's website for $230
  • The Nest x Yale smart lock, made in partnership with the stalwart lock manufacturer, is available on Nest's website for $250.
  • And a new temperature sensor, which lets your Nest thermostat manage the temperature in specific rooms individually, cost $40 for one or $100 for a 3-pack, and can be preordered on Nest's website.

Noticeably missing on the list of places to buy the new gadgets is Amazon, the world's largest online retailer.

Why?

"You'll have to ask Amazon," Maxime Veron, Nest's director of product marketing, said in an interview last week.

We did ask, but Amazon didn't respond to a request for comment.

The absence of the products on Amazon is just the latest development in what has turned into a brutal feud between Google and Amazon. Both companies are in a war for the smart home, each trying to get their own digital helper -- Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant -- to reign supreme in your living room. The companies go head to head in the smart speaker market with their Google Home and Amazon Echo devices.

Both companies have taken advantage of their platforms to try to get a leg up on the other.

Amazon doesn't sell Google Home. Instead, searching for that product on Amazon brings results for other products, including the e-commerce giant's rival Echo speaker. Amazon sells some Nest products, like the smart thermostat and smoke detector, but not others, such as the Nest E, a cheaper $170 version of its thermostat, or the Nest Secure alarm system. After banning sales of Google's Chromecast streamers two years ago, in December Amazon agreed to bring them back. But three months later, Chromecasts still aren't available on the site.

Last month, Business Insider reported that all Nest products would eventually be leaving Amazon, after the existing inventory of the Nest devices already on Amazon sell out.

Google, meanwhile, cut off YouTube from working on Amazon's Echo Show video device and Fire TV. And at CES in January, Google tapped partners including Sony to introduce four new video devices with the Assistant built-in to compete with the Echo Show.

The relationship is bound to get even more complicated as Nest becomes closer aligned to Google. The search giant bought Nest in 2014 for $3 billion, but for the past three years, Nest had been operating as a semi-independent company under Google's parent Alphabet. In January, Nest said it's merging with Google's consumer hardware team in an attempt to get more of Google's artificial intelligence technology into Nest products.

As Google and Amazon invest more in smart home technology, they will continue to compete more directly. Nest's Hello doorbell goes on sale Wednesday, and meanwhile Amazon has already announced the acquisition of two smart doorbell companies: Ring last month and Blink in December. Still, in our interview last week, Nest tried to downplay the competition. "Amazon's acquisitions only validate the market for smart doorbells even more," Veron said. 

Nest certainly believes in the market. The company ran a commercial for Hello during the Oscars earlier this month, featuring a dad talking to his son through the smart doorbell before the son leaves for the prom. It was one of Nest's largest ad buys to date, Veron said. 

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