Pebble has announced that, as of today, the company is shutting down as an independent entity. Pebble’s former competitor, Fitbit, will be acquiring key Pebble assets, exlcuding the company’s hardware products. The news comes after a long period of silence from Pebble that gave way to rumors of the company’s acquisition by Fitbit.
As a result of the shutdown, Pebble is ceasing all hardware options. This includes current and future devices. The Pebble Time 2 and Pebble Core will all fail to reach final production. Eligible backers of these products will refunded entirely, including shipping, taxes, and duties that have been paid. The only Kickstarter item that won’t be refunded is the early Pebble 2 model that was shipped to backers. Those who received a Pebble 2 will not receive a refund for the early model.
Current Pebble devices will continue to work as usual. The remaining team is working to reduce device dependency on cloud services, so as to allow the devices to function further into the future. No returns or exchanges, warranty or otherwise, are available.
Fitbit is acquiring a majority of Pebble’s team and resources, offering hope to users who believe in the company’s philosophy towards wearable technology. Fitbit will use Pebble’s industry expertise to better develop health and fitness wearables, but it will not be continuing Pebble’s product lines.
Pebble users have voiced their dissatisfaction at the acquisition. Common themes of disappointment and betrayal run through the comments on the company’s announcement. Over its life, Pebble built a dedicated following that stood against the mainstream wearable market. The company’s unique offerings appealed to a niche market, and it is unlikely that this niche market will comfortably transition to Fitbit.
For more information, see Fitbit and Pebble’s statements at the source links.Show Press Release
With this acquisition, Fitbit adds deep industry expertise in platform development that complements the company’s core discipline of innovative health and fitness features. The additional resources will facilitate the faster delivery of new products, features and functionality while introducing speed and efficiencies to develop the general purpose utility consumers value in a connected device. The acquisition will also accelerate the development of customized solutions and third party applications for Fitbit Group Health customers and partners, including researchers, employers and providers.
“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. “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.”
As the wearables market leader, Fitbit has developed a large global community of users by combining the power of technology with insights, motivating millions of people reach their health and fitness goals. Understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all in health and fitness, Fitbit gives consumers choices with its portfolio of wearable devices, features and accessories as part of an overall connected health platform so that users can seamlessly integrate wearables into their lives.
With Android usage accounting for nearly 90 percent of smartphone OS market share globally1, the ability to deliver consumers cross-platform devices is a key competitive advantage in the wearables category. As an early entrant in the category, Pebble was a trail blazer of the largest open, agnostic connected device operating system, which complements Fitbit’s broad cross-platform compatibility with more than 200 iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices.
The Pebble transaction was completed on December 6.