Technology

Apple stops selling Nest products in its US stores

Nest products
Image caption Nest's Thermostat and Protect smoke detector are no longer on sale in the US in Apple's stores or on its website

Apple has pulled Nest's internet-connected thermostats from sale at its US stores.

The BBC understands Apple removed the products as part of a wider switch to favour smart home devices compatible with its own HomeKit platform.

However, Apple continues to sell the Thermostat in the UK and across Europe.

Nest is owned by Google, which is developing rival technologies to link "internet of things" kit together.

The search firm announced in May that it was working on Weave - a library of common commands - and Brillo - an Android-based operating system for IoT machines.

Nest's Thermostat can already be controlled via its own iPhone or Android app. The division also promotes its own "Works with Nest" programme, which allows third-party products to communicate with the devices.

Mercedes, LG, Whirlpool and Philips are among firms that have taken advantage of the access this grants to Nest's application programme interfaces (APIs) - the code that controls how different software programmes interact with each other.

By contrast, Apple is promoting HomeKit - its own platform that lets users control and co-ordinate the use of smart home devices via its voice-activated virtual assistant Siri.

The firm requires accessory-makers to prove they have adopted tough encryption standards before it will certify them, and has designed the system to limit the collection of data about who used what and when.

Image caption The first products to be HomeKit-certified recently went on sale

"HomeKit introduces a new way for you to control supported devices in your home... and we've taken great care to make sure that the convenience this enables doesn't come at the expense of your privacy," Apple's website states.

The first products to support the standard began going on sale recently, including a thermostat made by Ecobee and a light dimmer switch from Lutron.

A spokesman for Apple declined to comment about its US sales restrictions, which were first reported by Mashable.

Nest's Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector has also been removed from sale.

But a spokesman for the firm said it expected Apple to stock a next-generation version soon, despite the fact it would not be HomeKit certified. This may be because there are no similar alarms yet available for Apple's platform.

In an interview before Apple's move, Nest's chief executive told the BBC he was confident his firm was already doing enough to protect people's privacy.

"We're taking very much a cross-platform approach," said Tony Fadell.

"Through the Works with Nest programme and the protocols that we use inside, it's going to be a very robust thing.

"At the end of the day though, customers do not buy platforms, they buy products first and foremost.

"So, anybody who is selling a product-like platform or trying to convert you on a platform, they're not going to be successful because that's not where customers start."

Read more of Tony Fadell's interview with the BBC

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