Fitbit purchases Pebble as kickstarted company falls on hard times

Fitbit purchases Pebble as kickstarted company falls on hard times


Recent times haven’t been too kind for Pebble, a kickstarted company that garnered attention back in 2012 due to its enticing smartwatch offerings. Back when smartwatches were still something new and intriguing, Pebble conducted a very successful campaign on Kickstarter, resulting in the brand’s presence on the smartwatch market.

As time progressed, Pebble started to drift more and more into the fitness spectrum of wearable tech, implementing features that focus on health tracking and fitness activities like the heartbeat monitor. Competitors arose, and slowly but surely, Pebble began decreasing in popularity against the likes of Fitbit.

Getting back to present times,  Fitbit will be purchasing Pebble. This information started out as a rumor which later solidified into fact, being confirmed by various sources including The Verge. Those close to the parties involved were able to confirm that Fitbit and Pebble are close to striking a deal which would involve the former buying out Pebble. Although there are no numbers flying around as of yet, sources claim that the transaction specifics that the two would be shaking hands upon can be classified as low, meaning that Fitbit would be acquiring Pebble without a big strain on their finances.

Pebble had been already making changes to acclimate to their bad financial situation, as 25% of their staff had to be laid off. While this decision must not have been easy for Eric Migicovsky, who acts as CEO for the company, it only shows the kind of situation they were facing.

Rumors suggest that Fitbit isn’t looking to maintain the Pebble brand name and that it will only be using the freshly acquired intellectual property. Instead of a revamped Pebble smartwatch, we might be seeing a new Fitbit smartwatch that runs on Pebble’s operating system which is one of the main properties included in the transaction.

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  1. What do other readers think of Fitbits future? Are there any analytical/software benefits to this acquisition?

  2. So Fitbit , with its outdated technology buys Pebble and its outdated technology ….

  3. This is just my personal view . When Fitbit released their latest device the Charge HR 2 my reaction was , meh . Its not water proof , it has no GPS , and it can’t receive many types of notifications beyond rudimentary text messages and incoming calls . All of these have been in Garmin devices ( at roughly the same price point ) for some time .

    I have also owned a Pebble ( again one of their latest devices ) and it was a pretty poor experience , particularly on the connection side . As soon as you are out of Bluetooth range the connection drops and on occasion struggles to re-connect . Admittedly the watch has a certain ‘charm’ but its a novelty charm and not enough to engender loyalty to the product which now feels very dated . I suspect this is the same for other Pebble users or why else would Pebble be laying off employees and telling the world they are up for sale only do this when you have lost faith in your own product.

    Finally neither Fitbit or Pebble connect over wifi like apple watch and android wear do , again relying on Bluetooth connection .

    Again , my personal opinion , Apple’s biggest issue is its a watch . If Apple released a flat discrete band incorporating its own technology then it would be all over for Fitbit. ( And yes I am aware Microsoft did such a thing and it didn’t work for them . I can tell you from my experience the Microsoft Band was an amazing product but just incredibly uncomfortable and ugly , both versions 1 and 2 ) . If apple could bring their design ethos to the band it would be a killer product .

  4. Good luck to Fitbit wanting to use Pebble connectivity. I have an original Pebble and it struggles to stay linked to my iPhone via Bluetooth. Lots of isdues to be solved here. A knock down price maybe…

  5. Why doesn’t anybody mention the Suunto range of fitness watches in these articles? – could it be because they’re European and have been around for many years rather than being financed by trendy, crowd-based US types?

  6. I guess we could start a thread about how these things are a fad and will never become mainstream with their < 24 hour battery life. But then we can't be bothered.

  7. FitBit could use Pebbles OS if it truly wants to make a smarter fitness watch. It could be a marriage of products that will produce a much needed winner for FitBit (FitBit is not doing well at the moment.)

  8. i backed pebble for the new time 2 and still havent recieved it. does not look like i will now – fucking bastards