Pebble was one of the first out the door when it came to making and marketing smartwatches. It is still a popular brand and has also become a Kickstarter darling, with their immensely successful campaign last year and even this year as well. But apparently, the company has not been meeting its numbers, and so rumors are now floating about that another wearable giant, Fitbit, is looking into acquiring Pebble and strengthening its own business. The deal is said to be in its closing stages, but of course neither company is making a statement.
The reason for the interest from Fitbit is because of two things: intellectual property and new expertise in wearable devices. While Fitbit has made a name for itself in the fitness band market, it has yet to have a proper smartwatch, expect for its Fitbit Blaze (which may technically just be a watch with fitness functionalities). A big attraction would be the PebbleOS which has one of the largest app catalogues around, and allows Pebble devices to be paired with both Android and iOS smartphones.
While Pebble led the way for the wearable technology market and has a strong following among the early adapters, it hasn’t had the “mainstream appeal” that Android Wear devices and Apple Watches had later on. It has reportedly failed to meet its numbers and has struggled financially, even with the $12.8M Kickstarter campaign it started last June. The acquisition will see many Pebble employees join Fitbit, but the manufacturing side will probably not continue.
Both Fitbit and Pebble have no comments or official statements at this point, as expected. The next few days will probably confirm if there’s any truth to this rumor or if the deal has failed to materialize.
VIA: Financial Times