The overall wearables market can be quite volatile as demand steadily declines. However, Fitbit may be preparing the ground for its eventual return to the market by purchasing Pebble, to avoid having to deal with another competitor.
According to a report published by The Information, Fitbit, the popular fitness wearables company, is in its last stage of finalizing a deal with the first smartwatch maker Pebble, which released the crowdfunded device two years earlier than Apple.
Although there are rumors that the company is in dire financial straits, Kickstarter backers of Pebble 2 will be relieved to know that the watch has already started shipping and it is unlikely to be affected by the company’s current plans. However, it is unclear if the watch will be supported with software updates if the transaction does go through.
To make matters worse, the fate of Pebble’s other products Time 2 and Core is still uncertain. The company has stated that both of them are expected to ship in early 2017, even tough Time 2 was supposed to ship last month, according to the Kickstarter page. The company was also forced to lay 25 percent of its staff back in March in hopes of improving their financial situation.
Meanwhile, despite that the actual acquisition price of Pebble was not revealed, according to a source of Engadget, Fitbit will purchase the company for around $34 to 40 million. This sum is only barely enough to cover for the $25 million owed to Pebble’s suppliers. Experts think that Fitbit interest in acquiring Pebble is due to obtaining the company’s tech and intellectual property as well as phasing out a potential competitor.
Using Pebble’s smartwatch technology in combination with their health trackers, Fitbit hopes to release a smartwatch capable of competing with those released by tech giants like Samsung and Apple. As such, Core and Time 2 will very likely be last Pebble branded products that will hit the market. It is unlikely that Fitbit will opt to produce any other Pebble products in the future, choosing instead to focus all its resources on their main product, whichever that may be.
What do you think about this acquisition?
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