Nest launches sleeker thermostat, CEO says he’d never compete with Apple

We covered the sexy Nest Learning Thermostat before , with Jeff saying calling it “the thermostat that Cupertino would have created if they were into that sort of thing”. Today, the company took the wraps off a new version of the Nest thermostat which has been re-engineered for smaller footprint and now looks even more futuristic. Also, company founder Tony Fadell, a former Apple engineer who worked on the iPhone and iPod projects, explains why he doesn’t plan on competing with Apple, despite hiring former Apple engineers on his 130-people team…

In a post over at the official blog, Fadell describes the next-generation Nest thermostat as being 20 percent thinner than the original and “encased by a premium solid stainless steel ring that clearly reflects the wall colors around it”.

They also replaced the sensor grille on the bottom with a smooth lens.

As seen below, the Nest now has extra wiring hookups for greater compatibility with central heating systems. Installation is now even easier as you can screw the thing directly to the wall (love the press connectors, BTW!).

The company also launched an updated version of the control app with exclusive System Match technology that automatically activates specific features like True Radiant, Heat Pump Balance, Early-On and Filter Reminders, depending on the system you have.

And here’s Jeff weighing in on the original Nest thermostat.

The Nest app now also works on all Android tablets, including Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, and both web and mobile apps have been optimized for snappier  performance, more detailed views and so forth.

Nest’s new * connector accepts W3, E, HUM or DEHUM wires for compatibility with almost all heating and cooling systems in the United States and Canada.

The new Nest will be available from the online Apple Store for $249 in mid-October, from the Nest online store, (which now sells the first-gen Nest for $229 while supplies last) and via online and brick-and-mortar Lowe’s stores.

Aggressive hiring prompted many to wonder if Nest may more up its sleeve besides just a home thermostat.

Tony Fadell does not intend to compete with his former colleagues at Apple, he told Bloomberg:

It would be hell on earth to compete with Apple. I’m not that dumb.

We’ll see about that.

Here’s another Nest co-founder and former iPhone engineer, Matt Rogers, talking about his work on a prototype iPhone with click wheel that Apple never shipped.

Rogers also tells that the iPhone team was closely watched to prevent any leak.

Court documents in the Apple v. Samsung case have revealed Apple was indeed working on three different iPhone prototypes, including the click wheel one.

Fadell is an engineering extraordinaire and played a crucial role in both the iPod and iPhone projects.

Besides, he doesn’t have a non-compete agreement with Apple.