In line with reports that surfaced last week, Fitbit has formally announced that it is buying smartwatch-maker Pebble. In essence, Fitbit will be acquiring all of Pebble’s software assets, and the company’s hardware division will be going away completely. Though, the companies haven’t revealed what the deal is worth, a report claim that Fitbit has paid less than $40 million. Also Read - Google Wear OS updated at I/O 2021, co-developed with Samsung and FitbitAlso Read - Top 5 smartwatches with menstrual tracker for women: Garmin Lily, Amafit GTS 2 mini, more
Thank you all for being such loyal supporters and champions of the Pebble community and brand, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky wrote on the official site. You helped start something fantastic when you backed our first Kickstarter project (and shout-out to the first inPulse users). Since then, we ve shipped over 2 million Pebbles around the world! However due to various factors Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity. We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices.” Pebble started off as a Kickstarter project, eventually raising more than $20 million from 78,471 backers and becoming the most funded project in the platform s history. Also Read - Here's the reason why NASA is offering Fitbit Charge 4 fitness device to employees
For Fitbit, as CEO and co-founder James Park puts it, this deal is an “an opportunity to build on our strengths and extend our leadership position in the wearables category. With this deal, Fitbit is basically acquiring Pebble’s expertise in making smartwatches. It will get access to Pebble’s software assets and smartwatch platform. Fitbit is also roping in most of Pebble’s software engineers, but Migicovsky won’t be one of them. Fitbit is already a leader in the fitness tracker space, but has yet to properly dip its feet into the smartwatch space. The Blaze is the closest Fitbit has come to launching a smartwatch, but it too is predominantly a fitness tracker and looks a lot like an Apple Watch.
What happens to Pebble owners?
Pebble has categorically said that it has stopped manufacturing new smartwatches, and it won’t be able to offer one-to-one support either. Pebble watches are also no longer covered by or eligible for warranty exchange. But in case something were to go wrong, replacement charging cables and other compatible accessories will be available on e-commerce sites like Amazon.
The company’s latest Pebble 2, Time 2, and Core were recently up on Kickstarter, and Pebble had recently started shipping some units of the wearables. But the company says it won’t be able to ship any more units, and all the eligible backers will be receiving refunds on their pledges, as well as any shipping taxes or duties that they paid. The company also says that all backers will be refunded in US dollars, even those abroad. “There will be no adjustments to account for exchange rate fluctuations between the original pledge payment and the upcoming refund,” the company says.