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Apple removes Nest Learning Thermostat from online, retail stores in potential HomeKit push

A pair of reports this week made note of Apple's apparent decision to remove Google's Nest Learning Thermostat from its online and brick-and-mortar stores, leaving only smart home devices compatible with HomeKit available for purchase.

The change was first spotted on Apple's online storefront by Fortune, which reported on Wednesday that all Nest products were no longer for sale. A quick check confirms that while text autofill options for "Nest Learning Thermostat" and "Nest Protect" show up in the Online Apple Store's quick search bar, those same products are nowhere to be found on Apple's website.

An update to that story quoted a Nest spokesperson as saying, "Apple is a valued partner to Nest and our new products will be available through Apple and other retail channels in the coming weeks." The publication added Apple's plans seem to include stocking of Nest Protect and Nest Cam (formerly known as Dropcam), but not the Learning Thermostat.

A separate report from Mashable on Thursday serves as confirmation of the product's removal. An Apple spokesperson told the publication that it removed Nest's connected thermostat from both its online store and brick-and-mortar locations earlier this month. This is the second time Apple has stopped sales of Nest's device, but the recent change appears to be permanent.

The Apple Store was one Nest's first promoters and began stocking the device as an exclusive partner in 2012. Since then, Apple made headway into the smart home space with HomeKit, an iOS-based framework for controlling "Internet of Things" devices. Earlier this month, Apple Stores initiated sales of ecobee3, the world's first HomeKit-enabled thermostat.

Nest Labs was cofounded by former Apple executives Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. Fadell, who some consider the "godfather of the iPod," would go on to recruit a number of employees from Apple's talent pool. Nest was ultimately sold to Google in 2013 for $3.2 billion.

While Nest products are not compatible with HomeKit they do work with iOS, and the firm counts a substantial number of iPhone owners among its customer base. More recently, Google announced a competing IoT platform called Brillo, which was developed with help from the Nest team.