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Fitbit Reportedly Close to Acquiring Pebble

Fitbit is closing in on a deal to acquire smart watchmaker Pebble, according to a new report from The Information. While there's no number on the price, The Information says the deal is for a "small amount."

The deal will see the Pebble brand slowly phased out, with its products shut down over time. Fitbit will largely be acquiring Pebble's assets, which include intellectual property and software. Pebble had reportedly been looking to sell as the company has been experiencing financial troubles over the past year.

Pebble debuted three new smartwatches -- the Pebble 2, Time 2 and Pebble Core -- back in July. In August, it issued a software update that streamlined its interface and redesigned the "Pebble Health" feature. However, the company also laid off 25 perfect of its staff in March.

Last February, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky said the company was unfazed by the Apple Watch, largely because the company was less focused on apps than Apple. The Cupertino company quickly became the leader in the smartwatch category after the launch of the Apple Watch, but last month market research from IDC indicated that the overall smartwatch market declined 51.6 percent in the third quarter.

As for Fitbit, the acquisition could signal that the company is looking to expand beyond fitness wearables. In August, alongside its new Charge 2 and Flex 2, the company announced all-new luxe leather bands and other premium accessories. Fitbit has also seen struggles recently, with the company's shares tumbling 30 percent after announcing mixed third-quarter results and weak guidance for its fourth quarter.

Top Rated Comments

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37 months ago
Never owned a pebble, but I'm still kinda sad for some reason.
Rating: 12 Votes
37 months ago
I'm sure a lot of people will be very disappointed by this. Pebble has/had a very loyal user group.
Rating: 6 Votes
37 months ago
I had an original Pebble and a Pebble Steel. And I loved it when it was the only option that worked with my iPhone, but the Apple Watch really left it in the dust with regard to reliability, utility, fitness tracking and apps.
Rating: 6 Votes
37 months ago
just like smart phones - "smart" watches will hit a saturation point.

it's unfortunately not a product that is necessary perhaps more of a distraction.

That said if you're serious about fitness you go to garmin.

if you're a casual walker/runner then there is everything else.
Rating: 6 Votes
37 months ago
Maybe he should have been more fazed.
Rating: 5 Votes
37 months ago
"largely because the company was less focused on apps"

That's one of the Pebble's major flaws honestly. Its app store is dismal.

I still maintain though that smartwatches should have energy-efficient reflective displays, not OLED. I don't care if OLED is more "colorful". I'm not watching videos on my watch!
Rating: 5 Votes
37 months ago
That's too bad as they were a clear innovator.
Rating: 5 Votes
37 months ago
Don't think anyone is surprised. Pebble deserved props for being there at a certain point in time. Fitbit deserves props for doing what it does so well.
But the value proposition wasn't there. Spend a couple dollars more and you get a far more functional device and something of a world class art piece for your wrist.

Say what you want about the Apple Watch, the industrial design has held up quite well. Props to Jony and his team for making something as timeless as their Watch. No doubt it will eventually end up going on display in modern art museums.

Those god awful retro-70's round k-mart specials Android wear will be relegated to permanent display under tons of other garbage at your local landfill.
Rating: 5 Votes
37 months ago

... (we need more devices with e-ink displays) ...

The display isn't e-ink. It's "e-paper", which is a much more loosely-defined term. e-ink involves electrostatic relocation of pigments. The displays retain a shown image even with no power applied. This is the kind of display Amazon's Kindle uses.

"e-paper" as used by Pebble is just a low-power LCD. Typically, they are reflective rather than transmissive. Some work in both ways and are called "transflective". They only show an image when power is applied, but they typically consume very little (on the order of 50 milliwatts). The Apple Newton used a transflective display.
Rating: 4 Votes
37 months ago

I don't know why they are buying Pebble, they are good, they make good watches, and were the real trailblazers, but I can't see value there.

Quality staff no doubt and intellectual property.

cribbed from an iPhone watch with terrible battery life.

Battery life with watchOS 3 I'm finding a big improvement I have 40% approx power left when I put on charger in the evening.
This will vary from user to user but not 'terrible'.
I find the battery is better than my iPhone 6 ever has been even when it was brand new.
Rating: 3 Votes

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