Fitbit Acquires Pebble, Hardware Sales Suspended
Digital health and fitness-tracking company Fitbit has just officially announced that it is buying key assets from smartwatch startup Pebble, after reports emerged last week that a deal between the two was close to being completed.
The deal is intended to accelerate Fitbit’s push into the healthcare industry, as Pebble’s software platform helps lay the groundwork for a new app store for Fitbit’s wearable devices.
Pebble is ceasing all hardware operations. They are no longer manufacturing, promoting, or selling any new products. While Pebble 2 has already started shipping out to Kickstarter backers, the company will reportedly cancel all Time 2 and Core shipments and will issue refunds through the crowdfunding website.
It comes at a time of flux for the wearable technology market, after Motorola said last week it would not be making any more of its Moto 360 smartwatches for the foreseeable future.
Pebble has struggled financially despite raising more than $40m across three Kickstarter campaigns, including the crowdfunding site’s biggest investment. It is discontinuing its range of smartwatches, and will refund Kickstarter backers who have not yet received the products they were promised.
While Pebble’s devices failed to achieve mainstream appeal, its operating system and software development tools gained a loyal following among app makers. These assets caught Fitbit’s attention as Pebble sought a buyer.
Most Pebble employees will not be offered jobs at Fitbit and will get severance packages, Bloomberg reported.