Alphabet’s Nest Launches Cheaper Thermostat to Boost Sales

Alphabet Inc.’s Nest introduced a cheaper version of its digital thermostat to spur sales as the smart home sector gains new competitors.

The new model, the Thermostat E, costs $170, coming in $80 below the current version, Nest said. To cut costs, Nest used plastic rather than metal for the edges that surround the circular thermostat and swapped the full color screen for a frosted display with fewer colors. The cheaper model still functions similarly to the original, allowing users to adjust the temperature by turning the device’s circular dial. It still connects to a smartphone, letting people adjust their home’s climate remotely, and adapts to conditions and use automatically.

Nest was founded — and acquired by Google in 2014 for $3.2 billion — based on a long-term goal of becoming the leading operating system for the home. Lately, the focus has been on boosting sales of its hardware devices. The Alphabet unit is also working on a home security system as well as a doorbell with a built-in video camera for next year, people familiar with the plans told Bloomberg News in March. Nest doesn’t disclose results, however, its a big part of Alphabet’s Other Bets division, which reported second-quarter revenue of $248 million, up 34 percent from a year earlier.

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