After days of rumours and leaks, Fitbit has officially acquired “specific assets of Pebble, including key personnel and intellectual property related to software and firmware development”.
The deal doesn’t include the hardware unit, with sales of its existing smartwatches being halted. The move will see Pebble being dissolved as well.
“With basic wearables getting smarter and smartwatches adding health and fitness capabilities, we see an opportunity to build on our strengths and extend our leadership position in the wearables category,” said James Park, CEO and co-founder of Fitbit, in a statement.
“With this acquisition, we’re well positioned to accelerate the expansion of our platform and ecosystem to make Fitbit a vital part of daily life for a wider set of consumers, as well as build the tools healthcare providers, insurers and employers need to more meaningfully integrate wearable technology into preventative and chronic care.”
Pebble is refunding people who have preordered their latest watches on Kickstarter
In a blog post explaining the deal, Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky said that the company was “no longer able to operate as an independent entity” as a result of “various factors”. Media reports earlier this year claimed that the firm was losing money, with the company laying off staff as well.
“While dissolving Pebble as you know today is difficult, I am happy to announce that many members of Team Pebble will be joining the Fitbit family to continue their work on wearable software platforms. Pebble’s successful approach to third-party wearable development is undeniable, and Fitbit is welcoming our expertise in this space wholeheartedly,” Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky wrote on the company blog.
Despite Pebble’s dismantling, the smartwatches will continue to work normally. But for how long?
“Fitbit will maintain services so that Pebble devices continue to work as normal. Pebble functionality and service may be reduced in the future. We applaud their efforts as we collectively work to streamline this transition for Pebblers everywhere,” the founder added.