‘Pebble’, the smart watch pioneer, recently announced that they were shutting down with wearable giant ‘Fitbit’ acquiring some of the company’s assets including key staff members.
The acquisition means that the Pebble hardware that was to be released will be cancelled; this includes Pebble Core smart watches and Pebble Time 2. The fulfillment of Pebble 2 orders will be discontinued with refunds being given to the Kickstarter backers.
The Pebble 2, which is currently on sale, will remain on shelves, but it’s unclear how Fitbit plans to support the $99 wearable in the future.
Pebble Founder Eric Migicovsky, released a statement where he made it clear that the company will stop the manufacture of Pebble devices and, therefore, shut down. He did not provide clear reasons for this move but he termed the decision to close down the company as tough.
Pebble was launched in 2012 and is one of the earliest manufacturers of connected watches, selling over 2 million gadgets. The official statement said that a large number of Pebble employees would join Fitbit to continue developing wearable software platforms. In a press release, Fitbit stated that they acquired specific assets from Pebble including intellectual property and key staff members. This deal does not take account of Pebble’s hardware products. There was no official communication from both parties on the terms of the deal, but earlier reports stated the deal to be worth under $40 million.
What Does the Acquisition of Pebble Means for Fitbit?
This deal comes at a time when Fitbit’s stock is slumping. The shares rose slightly to $8.02 but this is well below their $50 plus highs in 2015. Research firm IDC shows Fitbit with a 23 percent of the global wearables market share, selling 5.3 million gadgets in the third quarter.
Basic wearable devices are getting smarter especially smartwatches that are adding fitness and health capabilities. According to Fitbit CEO James Park, this is an avenue where the company wants to build on and extend their place as the leader in the wearables market.
Pebble and Fitbit are yet to officially comment on these reports. Official announcements are expected to be made in the near future.