Ecobee4 Release Date

UPDATE: Check out our Ecobee4 review here.

A new relationship bears its first fruit

Ecobee4 is on the way, Toronto-Canada based company posted on their Facebook page that they have an announcement on May 3, 2017. Above picture was captured from an online retail website on April 10 and was taken down a day after. We assume that it was a mistake but it was enough to start the rumors. If the online retail stores have the pictures and stats ready, when will the Ecobee4 on the market? We did our little investigation, we called our insider at the company, check out what we found.

Ecobee posted the above picture on their Facebook page on April 25. Two days ago. We doubt the ecobee4 will be released on 05.03.17, but they will most likely announce that the release date. So what is the release date of Ecobee4? We contacted our source from Ecobee, our contact said, testers already have end products in their homes, installed and working. Our insider sent us some photos of the end product.

In the above picture, you can see the Ecobee4 box and booklet. The product looks ready for release. We have one week until the announcement of the official release date.  But our insider said the actual release date will be at the end of Summer. Ecobee4 will be released in May 15.

What do we know so far?

First of all, when we look at the Ecobee Incorporated FCC Wireless Applications page , Ecobee applied for new Smart Thermostat on 03/31/2017. Why is this date important? because the typically release their products 1 month after the application. If we add 1 month, we will come up with May 2017, just like our insider said.  Off course we just have to wait another week before the announcement.
The new Ecobee4 comes with built-in Alexa voice Service. It has the blue line on the thermostat, just like Amazon Alexa. It also says right there on the box photo we have at hand.

Amazon vs Google: The Battle for Home automation

This is not a surprise, with the purchase of Nest(market leader for smart thermostat) by Google in 2014, Amazon had to take a side in the battle for home automation. After the acquisition of Nest by Google, everybody was expecting Amazon to purchase Ecobee, but Amazon decided to do things differently.
Nest opened a new market in Home automation industry by replacing our old thermostats with smart ones. After its success, tech giants turned their interest into our homes. What else could be automated? Nowadays we have smart pretty much everything, from light bulbs to door locks. We are living the home automation bubble as we speak.
On one hand, we have companies with endless money to throw around, to see if it sticks. For example, Google acquiring anything they can get their hands on. On the other hand, we have those who invest from outside and let the innovators manage their own companies without outside interference.
Which one is the right approach?

Google and Nest

Purchasing a company and destroying afterward is what Google knows best. Google’s acquisition team is like a fat kid who has a full mouth of cake but still trying shove more cake down her throat. A recent since-deleted post on Reddit shed a light on the current situation at Nest.
Here is what the post said about the current situation at Nest.

“As a Nest engineer, I won’t say any numbers that aren’t public, but this company is already on deathwatch. Once that happens, most people will quickly have shiny paperweights because it’s a constant firefight keeping these systems up. We have $340M in revenue, not profit, against a ~$500M budget. No new products since the purchase, and sales/growth numbers are dire. Our budget deal expires soon, and all the good engineers on my teams have discreetly indicated they are going to flee once their golden handcuffs unlock (many have already left despite sacrificing a lot of money to do so).

Tony and his goons demand crazy timelines so much that “crunch time” has basically lost meaning. Just when your labor bears fruit, they swoop in, 180 the specs you just delivered on, then have the gall to call your team “incompetent” for not reading their mind and delivering on these brand-new specs. I waste most of my time in pointless meetings, or defending my teams so they don’t flip their desks and walk out. People fall asleep in corners and cry in the bathrooms, health and marriages are suffering. Already the churn is insane, close to half the company if not more. Skilled engineers can tell the environment is toxic, so we’re filling vacancies with mostly sub-par talent.

Tony, you can’t hide anything from engineers. We know how many units are actually being sold, how many subscriptions lapse, how many fail or get returned. We know about that time-bomb flaw you ignored so people will have to upgrade. We can see the data in those executive dashboards you think we don’t know about. But go ahead, keep trashing us in public. We dare you to tell everyone just how much of that $340M was due to a simple Dropcam rebrand, and not the thermostats and smoke alarms. Good luck shipping that critical new project after restarting it for the umpteenth time.

Ah, that feels better. Now off to the other 4 meetings I have today.

EDIT: Oh god I thought I was just venting my spleen a bit, this got way more attention than I wanted… news sites are blowing up my PMs, but I have already said too much. There are many people in Nest across all the divisions who could have written these comments and I hope someone who is less paranoid than I, or already fully vested/gone, will come forward as time goes on.

Honestly, I’m more afraid that I was too vague and someone innocent will get an unfriendly visit tomorrow, or we’ll have some creepy new internal policy (step up!), because the higher ups are pretty vicious about this sort of thing.

I’m still proud of what my teams have accomplished at Nest. A lot of engineers, managers, and support staff have built something really cool. The cloud services are slick, and the hardware is beautiful, even if you operate local-only for those products that can still function that way.”

Anyway, you get the idea, It looks like Google will sell Nest since the original CEO Tony Fadell already left the company and replaced by Marwan Fawaz, who is expert at selling companies for Google.

Amazon’s race to win

Instead of buying and possibly failing to manage Ecobee, Amazon invested $35 million from its Alexa fund according to ecobee.
It looks like Amazon has the upper hand in this battle to capture the home automation market. If they keep making smart moves like investing in companies instead of acquiring them, they have a bright future ahead of them.

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