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'Fitbit' Articles

Fitbit Versa Reviews: Solid Smartwatch Option at $200 Unlikely to Lure Away Apple Watch Owners

Nearly two weeks after Fitbit first announced the Fitbit Versa, reviews for the new smartwatch have now emerged online today. Many of the reviewers agreed on the following points: the Versa is a step above last year's Fitbit Ionic, trading off GPS and NFC is worth it for the $200 price tag, and Fitbit still hasn't launched a device that could properly challenge the Apple Watch's dominance. The Verge started off by pointing out that text message notifications on the Versa are clunky for iOS users, especially because "there's no way to respond to them" from the watch. Android users will have a "quick replies" feature updated in May, and because of this and other factors The Verge ultimately explained that the Fitbit Versa could appeal to "everyone other than those hardcore Apple users." Image by Vjeran Pavic via The Verge So it all comes down to how much you want to pay, how tied into the Apple ecosystem you are, and how much you care about battery life. Fitbit may have a hard time luring away hardcore Apple fans, especially since the Versa is coming to market years after the original Apple Watch. On the flip side, it may be appealing to Android users, as Google’s Wear OS smartwatch platform has stagnated at this point. Engadget said that while the Versa looks like a "slightly wider Apple Watch," it's also the "best-looking Fitbit yet." To get the Versa to its $200 price point, Fitbit removed some features from the standard version of the smartwatch, like GPS and NFC, but Engadget said that this price drop is what could help the company "reach a bigger audience" in the

Fitbit Announces New Apple Watch Rival 'Versa' and Kid-Friendly 'Ace'

Fitbit today announced the Fitbit Versa, which the company described as the "smartwatch for all." The Versa has a few features that directly compare it to the Apple Watch, as well as an overall design that looks similar to Apple's wearable device. Alongside the Fitbit Versa, Fitbit announced a kid-focused Fitbit Ace device and female health tracking coming to the Fitbit iOS app. Fitbit said the Versa is the "lightest metal smartwatch" in the United States market, with a case made out of ultra-thin, anodized aluminum that is slightly tapered and angled so it fits small or large wrists. The device's touchscreen supports a brightness of up to 1,000 nits, allowing users the ability to read the screen in bright environments, and it has a battery that will last for 4+ days. The Fitbit Versa has many of the expected features seen in previous Fitbits, like 24/7 heart rate tracking, onscreen workouts, onboard music storage, automatic sleep tracking, and wallet-free payments on the Fitbit Versa Special Edition with an NFC chip. Fitbit will also sell a variety of accessories, ranging from stain-resistant classic bands to Horween leather, stainless steel links, metal mesh bands, and a designer collection. "As the wearables category continues to grow, Fitbit Versa fills a critical need in the market by delivering a beautifully designed, full-featured smartwatch that is easy to use at a very competitive price," said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. "Versa brings consumers the advanced health and fitness features Fitbit is known for, along with broad compatibility

New Images Reveal Fitbit's Upcoming 'Mass Appeal' Smartwatch

Images of Fitbit's next smartwatch have been obtained by Wearable, following the fitness firm's recent confirmation of a new device launch later this year. During an investor's call yesterday revealing weaker-than-expected results, Fitbit CEO James Park said the company will introduce a smartwatch in 2018 that will have "mass appeal", seemingly confirming lackluster sales of its Ionic smartwatch (reviewed here). According to Wearable, the new device will be the successor to the two-year-old Fitbit Blaze and will run the same Fitbit OS that first showed up on the Ionic – software that was largely the result of Fitbit's acquisition of Pebble back in 2016. The actual name of the new smartwatch remains unclear, but Fitbit is said to want to appeal more to the female market, which is one reason why this device will be smaller than the Ionic and closer to the dimensions of the original Blaze. Otherwise, the new smartwatch is said to be water resistant to 50 meters and will have an Sp02 sensor for monitoring sleep apnea, but GPS won't be included. The watch will be more affordable than the Ionic, according to Wareable's sources, and will come in four colors: black, silver, rose gold, and charcoal, with a range of straps

Fitbit Pay Launches in U.K. for Starling Bank Customers

Fitbit Pay officially launched in the U.K. on Tuesday, but with only one bank currently supporting the mobile payment platform, access to it remains severely restricted for users of the company's latest wearables. The Fitbit Pay payment system was introduced as an exclusive feature of the Fitbit Ionic, the activity tracker firm's first attempt at a smartwatch, released on October 1. The digital wallet works in a similar way to Apple Pay on the Apple Watch, but up until now it wasn't available outside of the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Fitbit Pay users in the United Kingdom need to hold an account with Starling Bank, a newcomer and relative minnow on the financial banking scene, which will undoubtedly leave the majority of Ionic owners unable to take advantage of the payment system, at least for now. Fitbit has confirmed the company is in talks with other U.K. banking services for future support, but with rivals like Apple Pay, which lists over 25 supporting banks on its official website, as well as Android Pay (over 20 banks) and Samsung Pay all jostling for contention, Fitbit will have a job gaining a foothold in the emerging mobile payment industry. You can check out our in-depth review of the Fitbit Ionic here. Fitbit Pay is expected to land in other European countries sometime next

Fitbit Announces October 1 Launch Date for New Ionic Smartwatch and Flyer Headphones

It's been almost one month since Fitbit unveiled the new "Ionic" smartwatch and "Flyer" Bluetooth headphones, which at the time were given an unspecific October launch window. Today, the wearables company announced that both devices will be available in retail stores across North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America on October 1. The Fitbit Ionic is the company's first smartwatch and includes improved GPS, heart rate tracking, water resistance up to 50 meters, contactless payments with "Fitbit Pay," on-board music storage, and more. The smartwatch syncs with the new Fitbit Coach personal training app coming later in October and featuring 90 video and audio workouts, priced at $7.99/month or $39.99/year. Starting on Sunday, October 1, users will be able to purchase the Fitbit Ionic at Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods, Kohl's, Macy's, REI, Target, Verizon, and Amazon for $299.95. Fitbit said that retailers will also have a variety of accessory bands in Classic and Sport ($29.95) and a perforated Horween leather band ($59.95). “We defined the fitness tracker market 10 years ago and look forward to doing the same with the smartwatch category, delivering what consumers want most and have not yet seen in a smartwatch. Ionic offers up to 5 days battery life for 24/7 health tracking and insights, advanced health and fitness features, enhanced heart rate and dynamic sleep tools paired with the smart functionality consumers need on the go to stay in touch and simplify their life,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.

Fitbit Announces Deal to Bring Glucose Monitoring Data to its Ionic Smartwatch

Fitbit has announced a new partnership with glucose monitoring device company Dexcom that is set to bring diabetes monitoring capabilities to the fitness tracker company's new Ionic smartwatch. The deal initially means Ionic users will be able to connect a Dexcom device to the Fitbit app and seamlessly transfer up-to-date glucose level data to the smartwatch, making the information more easily accessible on their wrist. "The collaboration between Dexcom and Fitbit is an important step in providing useful information to people with diabetes that is both convenient and discreet," said Kevin Sayer, President and CEO, Dexcom. "We believe that providing Dexcom CGM data on Fitbit Ionic, and making that experience available to users of both Android and iOS devices, will have a positive impact on the way people manage their diabetes."There's nothing in the partnership to suggest the Ionic smartwatch will be able to give continuous glucose monitoring readouts on its own when it's released next month – current continuous glucose monitoring systems require a small sensor that's worn under the skin to monitor glucose levels – but Fitbit shares jumped 13 percent on the news, a high for the company since January, when it laid off some of its employees and announced its smartwatch plans. Dexcom also has a deal with Apple to bring its features to the Apple Watch this year, while owners of Dexcom monitors can already view their glucose data on an Apple Watch – advanced devices by Dexcom include a transmitter, which can display glucose information directly to an iPhone app.

Fitbit Announces $300 'Ionic' Smartwatch, 'Flyer' Bluetooth Headphones, and Subscription Coach App

Fitbit today announced a collection of all-new products and services, centering upon the company's first smartwatch, the Fitbit Ionic, along with a new subscription coaching service, Fitbit Coach. The Fitbit Ionic includes improved GPS and heart rate tracking, is water resistant up to 50 meters, supports contactless payments, smartphone notifications, on-board music, and more. Like past Fitbit devices, the Fitbit Ionic includes a variety of fitness-focused features for users to take advantage of, including a "Run Detect" mode that starts workout tracking when the smartwatch notices the user is running. When exercising outside, users can also leave their smartphone behind and track their running data solely using the Fitbit Ionic. In terms of the new water resistance, there's also a swim workout to track laps and calories burned in a pool. All of the Fitbit Ionic's enhanced sensor-tracking features are fueled by the new relative SpO2 sensor, which can estimate blood oxygen levels and "opens the potential" for tracking even more health metrics. Fitbit said that, in the future, this will include sleep apnea. The smartwatch's new display provides up to 1,000 nits of brightness and is protected by a scratch proof Corning Gorilla Glass 3 touchscreen. “Ten years ago, Fitbit pioneered the wearables category with the introduction of its first health and fitness tracker. Since then, we have become the leading global wearables brand, setting the pace of innovation in the category and establishing the largest social fitness network that helps millions of people around the

Alleged Leaked Fitbit Photos Show Upcoming Smartwatch Looks Like a Blaze

Photos emerged online overnight that allegedly reveal the design of Fitbit's first "true" smartwatch, rumors of which we covered last month. The images were originally published by Yahoo Finance and appear to show that the company's upcoming Apple Watch rival looks very similar to the $150 Fitbit Blaze fitness watch, which has been on sale since early 2016. The watch's square face, physical buttons, and flexible elastomer wristband closely resemble the company's Blaze. Several Fitbit employees who saw the design are said to have complained about it, according to previous reports. Specifications of the smartwatch, which is said to be codenamed "Higgs" internally, include a color display with 1,000 nits of brightness similar to the Apple Watch Series 2, built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, a full-fledged app store, contactless payments, storage for music, Pandora support, and four days of battery life. The $300 watch was previously thought to have an aluminum unibody design that supports swappable watch bands. The smartwatch was initially said to be launching this spring, but technical problems have reportedly plagued the product and the company is now thought to be aiming for a fall release. Fitbit is also rumored to be releasing a pair of Bluetooth earbuds similar in design to Apple's BeatsX buds. Codenamed "Parkside" internally, the $150 wireless earbuds will hang around the neck and be marketed as an accessory for the forthcoming smartwatch. A lot is riding on the success of Fitbit's upcoming products, after the company faced one of its "largest

Fitbit Working On BeatsX-Like Bluetooth Earphones as 'Proper' Smartwatch Faces Production Mishaps

Fitbit is gearing up to launch a "proper" smartwatch as a competitor to the Apple Watch, which will include mobile payments features, a full app store, and more, in addition to Fitbit's usual health and fitness features. While that product is predicted to launch sometime this fall -- likely going head-to-head with Apple Watch Series 3 -- a new report from Yahoo Finance today has depicted a troubled road to launch for Fitbit's smartwatch, as well as revealing the company's potential emergence in the Bluetooth earphone market. Yahoo Finance's report states that Fitbit intends to launch its own pair of fitness-focused Bluetooth earphones, which is believed to help the company expand beyond the wrist and diversify its product lineup. Fitbit's device is said to be "similar in design" to the BeatsX Earphones that Apple launched earlier this year. The Fitbit earphones "will hang around your neck" and launch alongside the new smartwatch in two colors called "Nightfall Blue" and "Lunar Gray." Apple's BeatsX Earphones According to sources speaking with Yahoo Finance, Fitbit's smartwatch was initially launching this spring, but GPS problems due to antenna positioning in a few prototypes delayed production to the fall. Additionally, waterproofing became an issue in production, and today's report even noted that "it’s still unclear as of the publication of this article whether the device will launch with the waterproof feature." If it isn’t waterproof, critics may perceive it to be an inferior product to Apple’s — especially given that the device will launch roughly a

Fitbit Announces 'Fitbit Alta HR' Wearable With Continuous Heart Rate Tracking in Slim Band

Fitbit today announced the Fitbit Alta HR, which the company is calling the "world's slimmest fitness wristband" that has a continuous heart rate monitor. The Alta HR launches just over a year after Fitbit debuted the original Fitbit Alta, which included new "Reminders to Move" to tell users to stand up and move around a bit, like Apple Watch stand notifications. The main upgrade for the Fitbit Alta HR revolves around its ability to detect the user's heart rate throughout the day, thanks to the company's PurePulse technology. Additionally, the Alta HR will include all of the usual Fitbit benefits, like automatic exercise recognition, sleep tracking, a seven day battery life, smart notifications, and more. Thanks to the bolstered heart rate technology, the Fitbit Alta HR also has a few improved sleep tracking features. "Sleep Stages" can detect how long each user spends in light, deep, and REM sleep, as well as detect how many times the user wakes up. "Sleep Insights" accumulates the large picture of each user's Fitbit data and actively tries to help "improve your sleep for better overall health." Sleep Stages will be available on Alta HR, Blaze and Charge 2 Fitbit devices, while Sleep Insights will be available on any Fitbit "that tracks sleep via the Fitbit app." “Alta HR and these powerful new sleep features demonstrate our continued focus on evolving our innovative technology to deliver deeper, more actionable insights to help our users improve their health,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. “The miniaturization of our PurePulse heart

Apple Watch's Record-Breaking Quarter Was Opposite One of Fitbit's 'Largest Declines Ever'

Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 have proven to be a "magnificent success" for Apple, which recorded its "best quarter ever" in the wearables market, according to the latest data from research firm IDC. Fourth quarter shipments reflected in millions (Source: IDC) Apple shipped an estimated 4.6 million Apple Watch units in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from an estimated 4.1 million in the year-ago quarter, according to IDC. Its share of the wearables market, which includes basic fitness trackers, was an estimated 13.6%, down slightly from 14.1% in the year-ago quarter. Apple closed the gap with wearables market leader Fitbit, which experienced one of its "largest declines ever" in the fourth quarter. Fitbit shipped an estimated 6.5 million fitness trackers in the quarter, down from 8.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Fitbit's market share dropped from 29% to 19.2%, said IDC. Apple has been heavily marketing the Apple Watch's fitness capabilities as of late, rather than positioning it as a fashion accessory, and this shift in focus has allowed it to grow its presence in the wearables market, according to IDC:Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 proved to be a magnificent success for the company as it was the company's best quarter ever in the wearables market. The lower entry price point and the inclusion of GPS on the Series 2 along with a completely revamped user interface have helped the company grow its presence. Apple is one of the few companies that has been able to quickly refocus its watch to gain traction in the consumer market and has also been leading

Fitbit Again Accused of Stealing Trade Secrets From Jawbone

Even though Jawbone has confirmed that it's leaving the consumer wearables market to focus on clinical health products, the company has doubled down on its legal battle with former rival Fitbit, concerning the latter company's alleged theft of trade secrets (via TechCrunch). The U.S. International Trade Commission has already let Fitbit off the hook for the original claims, but Jawbone is now arguing that the agency only looked at a "limited number of allegations against Fitbit." To back up its argument that the issue remains unresolved, Jawbone referenced in a court filing this month that Fitbit is under investigation by a criminal grand jury concerning the trade secret theft, believing "the issue of what was stolen and by whom remains unresolved." As of this week, the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security have been conducting a grand jury probe into Fitbit for five months. Fitbit said that it's cooperating with the investigation "to demonstrate, once again, that these allegations are without merit," with a hearing set for February 15 amid the hopes that the case will finally be dismissed. The battle between the two companies goes back to 2015, when Jawbone claimed that Fitbit hired five Jawbone employees, who in turn brought with them more than 350,000 secret Jawbone files. According to the original lawsuit, Jawbone said "the files included information about materials, sensors and detailed breakdowns of its costs and profit margins." Fitbit said that once the files were discovered on a cloud-based backup service of a former Jawbone

Coin Announces Official Shutdown of All Product Services Coming February 28

Smart payments company Coin this week announced the shutdown of its various product services, officially closing product support, social media channels, and the connected Coin app on iOS and Android devices on February 28, 2017. The news follows the discontinuation of all Coin products last May, when Coin was acquired by Fitbit and the company subsequently ceased selling its line of smart payment cards. With no new Coins available to purchase and its services shutting down, users will no longer be able to add new cards to the device without the mobile app being supported. Coins themselves will continue to work until their batteries die (two years from initial activation), so the company is encouraging users to add any cards they want before February 28. With the acquisition of Coin by Fitbit, all business operations ceased on June 13, 2016. The company is no longer manufacturing, promoting, or selling any new devices or products. Effective from February 28, 2017, the Coin product services will officially be shut down. As a result, support through the Coin website or through social media channels will no longer be available. The original Coin, as well as Coin 2.0, was a single credit card-sized device that stored a collection of credit and debit cards that users could toggle through with a small button on the front of the Coin. Once the desired card was selected, users swiped Coin like any normal payment card, and the charge went through to whatever card was chosen. Coin was first announced and began receiving orders in 2013, one year before Apple would launch Ap

Fitbit Expected to Announce Layoffs in Fourth Quarter Results

Fitbit is set to announce cuts of between 5 to 10 percent to its workforce later on Monday amid lower-than-expected fourth quarter results. According to The Information, the job cuts are expected to affect between 80 and 160 people across multiple departments and save the company $200 million in costs. The Q4 results will be the second consecutive quarter in which Fitbit has missed its earnings guidance. Fitbit is expected to blame the slowdown on a sluggish market, despite Market research data from September that showed a split in the wearables market, with Fitbit's "basic wearables" gaining popularity, and "smart wearables" like the Apple Watch seeing stalled growth. Despite a portion of the market stalling out, the overall wearable device market was said to have grown 26.1 percent in comparison to the year ago quarter, with Fitbit the leading brand. Additionally, Fitbit's stock rose 7.4 percent on December 27, after reports that its app had become one of the most downloaded in the App Store on Christmas Day. Fitbit's recent acquisition of Pebble and Vector Watch – along with its rumored interest in Jawbone – suggested the company was increasingly aligning itself with software rather than relying solely on hardware sales, and the reported layoffs could be another part of that plan. Indeed, one source told The Information that Fitbit is aiming to develop its own App Store and open up devices to third-party developers. Whether Fitbit is planning to launch a more traditional smartwatch with a dedicated app store as part of those plans remains unclear.

Fitbit Acquires European Luxury Smartwatch Maker Vector Watch

Fitbit has made another acquisition in the wearables market, this time buying out European luxury smartwatch maker Vector Watch for an undisclosed price. Vector Watch only launched in March of last year offering a range of 12 smartwatch models in various fashion-conscious styles. Key features in its line-up include basic activity tracking, phone notifications, and 30-day battery life, with some third-party apps built into the interface. The London-based company announced the buyout in a statement on its website. Today, we are happy to announce that the Vector Watch team and our software platform are joining Fitbit, the leader in the connected health and fitness market! We believe this is an important milestone as a moment when we will start building other new and amazing products, features and experiences, incorporating our unique technology and knowhow with Fitbit's experience and global community.Vector said its integration with Fitbit would have no impact on existing customers, whose smartwatches would continue to function as usual, while technical support and warranties would be unaffected. However, new product features (software and hardware) would not be added. The buyout comes just one month after Fitbit acquired U.S.-based Pebble for a reported $40 million, signaling the company's intention to continue to invest in software development, despite falling shares and a gloomy outlook for the overall wearables market. Global shipments in the last quarter fell by more than half compared to last year, according to recent figures by IDC. Despite the numbers,

Pebble Says Existing Smartwatch Services Will Continue to Function Through 2017

Pebble has moved to reassure its customers that software and services will continue to run through 2017, following Fitbit's acquisition of the company last week. Fitbit bought out Pebble for its software assets, not for its hardware, which has concerned many existing owners of Pebble smartwatches about the continued functionality of their devices. Today, however, Pebble sought to allay fears by confirming in a blog post that services would continue as normal for at least another year. Fitbit is going out of its way to keep Pebble software and services running through 2017. To be clear, no one on this freshly-formed team seeks to brick Pebble watches in active service. The Pebble SDK, CloudPebble, Timeline APIs, firmware availability, mobile apps, developer portal, and Pebble appstore are all elements of the Pebble ecosystem that will remain in service at this time. Pebble said it has "seen a massive influx of community developers teaming up to keep the Pebble watch experience alive, long into the future," but as TechCrunch notes, what that means for third-party apps developed for the smartwatch remains unclear. In addition, Pebble said that it was working on an update for release in the coming months that will ensure the normal operation of core Pebble functions, including Pebble Health, once the company's cloud services close

Pebble Posts Details on Refunds and Existing Device Services Following Fitbit Buyout

Pebble CEO and founder Eric Migicovsky took to the company's blog yesterday to personally confirm its imminent closure, following media reports earlier on Wednesday that Fitbit has acquired its technology, software assets, and other intellectual property. Dear Pebblers, Thank you all for being such loyal supporters and champions of the Pebble community and brand. You helped start something fantastic when you backed our first Kickstarter project (and shout-out to the first inPulse users). Since then, we’ve shipped over 2 million Pebbles around the world! However — due to various factors — Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity. We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices. Migicovsky went on to cover the buyout, earlier confirmed by Fitbit in a press release, and said that many members of his team would be joining the company to continue their work on wearable software platforms. Migicovsky also said that Pebble devices will continue to work as normal, thanks to "close collaboration with the Fitbit team", but warned that functionality or service quality may be reduced in the future. The blog post also lists a number of bulleted "need-to-knows" for customers, including further details on refunds for Kickstarter backers awaiting pre-orders of devices including the Pebble 2 and Core wearables. Customers can read the list here

Fitbit Buyout Will See Pebble's Time 2 and Core Wearables Canceled, Refunds Issued

Late last month we reported that Fitbit was closing in on a deal to acquire smartwatch maker Pebble "for a small amount". Bloomberg has now revealed that the buyout will cost "less than $40 million" and exclusively concerns Pebble's software assets, which are being sought by Fitbit "in a bid to better compete with Apple", according to people familiar with the matter. Yesterday's update on the details of the acquisition comes at a time when the wearables market as a whole appears to be facing increased uncertainty and significant profit hurdles. Earlier this week, in response to IDC market research claiming that Apple Watch's share of the wearables market had fallen to 5 percent, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple Watch's sell-through rate had hit a new high. Cook was responding to data which suggested fitness trackers "reigned supreme" in the market, yet Fitbit has seen its own struggles, with the company's shares tumbling 30 percent after announcing mixed third-quarter results and weak guidance for its fourth quarter. To improve its standing in the market, Fitbit reportedly wants to hire Pebble's software engineers and testers, and get hold of intellectual property including the Pebble OS, watch apps, and cloud services. The $40 million buyout sum does not include Pebble's debt and other obligations, product inventory or server equipment, all of which will be sold off separately, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous. The news all but confirms the end of the road is in sight for Pebble's entire product line-up, including its most recent smartwatch

Apple Watch Drops to Just 5% Share of Wearables Market as Basic Fitness Trackers 'Reign Supreme'

While the Apple Watch remains the world's best selling smartwatch, the latest data from market research firm IDC reveals basic wearables "reign supreme" as consumers gravitate towards simple, dedicated fitness devices—which also typically cost less than the Apple Watch and other smartwatches. Shipments in millions (Source: IDC) Basic wearables accounted for 85% of the market and experienced double-digit growth in the third quarter, according to IDC. Fitbit remained the leader with 23% market share, up from 21.4% a year ago, on the strength of its new Charge 2 fitness tracker. Fitbit shipped an estimated 5.3 million wearables in the quarter. Xiaomi trailed in second as its $14.99 Mi Band is priced well below any competing wearables, allowing the Chinese company to capture 16.5% market share based on an estimated 3.8 million shipments in the quarter. Xiaomi's market share remained virtually unchanged from 16.4% a year ago. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch captured just a 4.9% share of the broader wearables market in the quarter based on an estimated 1.1 million shipments, according to IDC. Comparatively, in the year-ago quarter, Apple had an estimated 3.9 million Apple Watch shipments for a much higher 17.5% market share."It's still early days, but we're already seeing a notable shift in the market," said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. "Where smartwatches were once expected to take the lead, basic wearables now reign supreme. Simplicity is a driving factor and this is well reflected in the top vendor list as four out of five offer a

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